One in a million
While many readers are concerned about how to protect personal information going forward, updates from the massive Equifax breach indicate that in addition to millions of social security and driver’s license numbers, over 200,000 customer credit card numbers were compromised as well.
The information taken included account numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder’s names – which is enough to conduct business on a number of different websites or create false magnetic barcodes on cards. (Learn about types of credit card fraud here).
Equifax specified it would alert via direct notices in the mail to the 209,000 people who’s credit card numbers were impacted, and financial institutions were notified through Visa and MasterCard and will likely be taking steps to reissue account/CC numbers as necessary.
Even if you don’t receive a notice, ensure you are checking your account activity regularly and report anything you suspect fraud.
Most credit card companies have zero-liability policies, which means you aren’t held liable for fraudulent charges you report. By federal law, if you report your card missing or stolen before a purchase you are held liable for zero; and reporting fraud after a card theft caps your liability at fifty dollars of a fraudulent charge.
Things to watch
Remember to do the following things:
- Monitor activity on your account closely.
- Check bank and savings statements.
- Request copies of your credit report and check for signs of fraud, like accounts you don’t recognize or incorrect information.
- If you believe you’re the victim of identity theft, reach out to fraud centers for the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and
- TransUnion) and report identity theft to the FTC.
- When shopping online, use a credit card over a debit card.
- Only buy from reputable companies.
Keep an eye out
This is one of the largest data breaches ever, so continue to stay updated. Be sure to check on your credit status and monitor your credit on a regular basis. Stay up to date! Keep those cards in your hand.