Last week, in the biggest case of identity theft ever, 11 men in five countries were charged with stealing more than 40 million credit card numbers from US retailers. Unfortunately, 73 percent of you aren't strangers to having your credit card information compromised, but it seems that some of us might be in the dark about our card's safety.
According to The Wall Street Journal, most states require full disclosure to customers when credit-card data is stolen from a company's stores. Of the stores involved in the security breach affecting millions of people, TJX Cos., BJ's Wholesale Club Inc., DSW Inc., Dave and Buster's Inc. didn't let much time pass before they told their customers about the instance. Find out how Forever 21 fits into the equation when you
OfficeMax Inc., Barnes and Noble Inc., and Sports Authority Inc. would not disclose whether or not they'd shared this information with their customers, while Boston Market Corp. and Forever 21 Inc. confirmed they did not disclose the breach to customers.
They've kept tight lips because they never verified that any numbers were stolen from their databases, but the Fed's indictments are clear about which retailers were targeted. Because companies aren't always up-front when their data has been stolen, make sure you protect yourself by checking your credit report a few times annually to ensure nobody has been using your information to open accounts.