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Protect Yourself from Large Scale Merchant Data Breaches

It seems like there are more and more headlines about large scale merchant data breaches. When these big breaches happen, many consumers panic. Don't. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself.If your information was part of a merchant data breach: 
  1. data-breaches_blogCheck your account statements for unauthorized charges or debits and make a habit of monitoring your accounts as fraudulent charges to your card and debits to your account might occur months after the data breach. 

  2. Alert your financial institution or card provider immediately if you think your account has suspicious debits or charges. The sooner you tell your provider about any unauthorized debits or charges, the better.

  3. Report even small problems right away. Sometimes thieves will process a small debit or charge against your account and return to take more if the small debit or charge goes through.

  4. Watch for reports from the merchant that was hacked, or your card provider, about the nature and timing of the security breach.

  5. If a thief takes money from your account by debit, or charges items to your credit card, you should cancel the card and have it replaced before more transactions come through. You should also consider changing your PIN to be safe.

Card providers should investigate the charges and respond quickly - generally within 10 business days or within two billing cycles. If you have an issue with your card provider's response, you can submit a complaint toconsumerfinance.gov/complaint or call (855) 411-CFPB (2372). Check out more tips here on how to protect yourself from identity theft.


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