back to article Amex 'fesses up: Your credit card data was nicked ... and it's taken three years to admit it

American Express has told the California Department of Justice that some of its customers had their credit card numbers stolen, and that it happened almost three years ago. We're told Amex's security was not directly breached by criminals, rather its customers' details were leaked by a clumsy intermediary. The fact it took …

  1. Roq D. Kasba

    Three years!

    Most of those cards will have expired by now. However the replacement card details will almost certainly be guessable, either the same number with the expiry year incremented by a few, or if you're as dumb as Lloyds, the 'long number' intervened by one with a new checksum. At least the CVV changes unpredictably.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Three years!

      Three years seems to be an awful long time to figure out your cardholder info has been hacked. My bank will text and call me if they think there is suspicious activity on my card/account often within minutes and at most a day later.

      1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: Three years!

        I would guess it's because in America, card fraud is a liability of the customer to prove that fraud has taken place, whereas (in the rest of the world) it's up to the credit card company.

  2. Roq D. Kasba

    Expiration vs Expiry Date?

    Do they mean different things? Just in pure language pedantry terms.

    'Expiration' seems such a clunky word compared with 'expiry'. 'Burglarized' also seems to be in popular usage, instead of the very functional 'burgled'. I note this is more common pondleft, which is counterintuitive when they simplified 'colour', 'honour', etc (and with good reason, when you think about it, along with s/z, and occasional 'ough'/'ow')

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      About those simplifications.

      I believe you will find that the Americans did not "drop the u". Rather, the British added them in, after the split, perhaps to sound more French.

      It is usual for older forms of a language to persist in the colonies/diaspora while the motherland innovates. A friend garnered some odd looks when she (Japanese descent, born and raised in Hawaii) visited Japan. At 25 she was told "You talk like my grandmother".

      As for credit cards, mine just say "exp." How's that for simplification?

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: About those simplifications.

        Sorry, Mike 16, you'll find if you check in a proper resource* that as recently as the early to mid 1920s both forms for most of the "or"/"our" words were in common use in the USA.

        * ie one with a proper editor and proof reader infrastructure.

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: About those simplifications.

          The prunig of -our to -or in the USA, and many other simplifications, was down to Noah Webster, and extremely recent in linguistic terms. It's not a bad simplification, but it's not as if the British suddenly decided to 'look French', the 'u' is more likely vestigial from the development of the mongrel language that English is. And being a mongrel is what makes it so strong and widely adopted in various forms.

          Spelling, and uptightness about it, is a fairly modern phenomenon. Famously, Shakespeare spelled his own name 14 different ways. Interestingly, USA is slightly more fixated on it than UK, here 'Spelling Bees' just aren't a 'thing'.

          1. Dan Wilkie

            Re: About those simplifications.

            Yes they are... I came second in one when I was younger in the local shopping centre (1990ish?) - I still have my medal somewhere. I got given deleterious and the swat I was against got given promulgate which is clearly easier. Not that I'm bitter and have been carrying a grudge for the last 25 years or anything...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: About those simplifications.

              " I got given deleterious"

              Ye Gods !!!

              1. tiggity Silver badge

                Re: About those simplifications.

                In your excitement you missed swat ;-)

  3. Stevie Silver badge


    "It is important to note that American Express owned or controlled systems were not compromised by this incident, and we are providing this notice to you as a precautionary measure."

    Oh well, that's OK then. I'll just nip off in me Tardis and warn m'self shall I?

  4. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge


    Well that's crap service from a crap company. No wonder that I see "Amex not accepted" signs on my travels.

    Note to 'merkins: Don't travel abroad with this card, it really is not widely accepted.

    1. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: crap

      "Note to 'merkins: Don't travel abroad with this card, it really is not widely accepted."

      Except it is, isn't it?

      Not saying they done right in this instance, but acceptance levels of Amex is high and getting more so. As I've said before, I have no problem putting ~£800 - £1k / month through mine.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the plus side..

    .. at least they either read The Register or it came up in a daily brand search :)

  6. tiggity Silver badge


    When American Express crops up am I the only one distracted by old Not The Nine O Clock News sketches running through my mind?

  7. jonsjava

    Not quite sure, but..

    I have an American Express BlueBird card. I've had it for years. During the time they are outlining, my card was replaced by them twice, stating that it had been compromised. They explained best practices with using the card, what to watch out for, etc.

    The issue is that I had never actually used the card. I used BlueBird to send money to others who have BlueBird. This leads me to think that it actually was AmericanExpress that was compromised, rather than some 3rd-party vendor.

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