Madigan also said her office is looking into the possible breach
of customers’ personal financial information.
“Consumers who have shopped at a Home Depot store with a debit or
credit card should begin monitoring their accounts immediately for
unauthorized charges,” Madigan said. “Identity theft is a serious
threat to consumers. Incorporating a few commonsense precautions in
your daily routine can greatly reduce the threat and any damage done
as a result of a data breach.”
Madigan offered these tips for consumers who have shopped at Home
Depot using a debit or credit card:
Set up Transaction Alerts on your accounts to receive
notifications when your credit or debit card is used above a certain
dollar amount, so if someone uses your card without authorization,
you’ll receive a text message or email and can immediately call your
card issuer to dispute the charge.
Regularly review your bank and credit card statements to make
sure there are no unauthorized transactions. Contest any
unauthorized charges immediately by contacting your bank using the
toll-free number on the back of your credit or debit card. Prompt
reporting of unauthorized charges is critical to limit your
liability, particularly if you are a debit card user because
liability depends on how quickly you report a lost or stolen card.
For instance, if you report a lost or stolen debit card before any
unauthorized transactions occur, you are not responsible for any of
the unauthorized charges, but if you make the report within two
business days of losing your card, you can be liable for up to $50
of unauthorized charges. After two days, reporting lost or stolen
cards can increase your liability anywhere from $500 and up.
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Review your credit reports for unauthorized accounts.
You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the
three nationwide credit reporting agencies per year. Go to
www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228 to order
your credit reports. Make sure all the information is correct.
If not, immediately contact the credit reporting agency to
request that the information be explained or corrected.
Consider putting a security freeze on your credit. A
security freeze, also known as a credit freeze, essentially
locks down your personal data at the consumer reporting agency
until an individual gives permission for the release of the
data, which can prevent someone from taking out credit in your
name. You can easily have the freeze lifted when you want to
allow a company to check your credit if, for instance, you are
opening new accounts or purchasing a car or home.
For questions or help if you have been a victim of identity
theft, contact Madigan’s Identity Theft Hotline at
1-866-999-5630. Madigan’s Identity Theft Unit has helped over
35,000 victims remove over $26 million in fraudulent charges
from their credit.
[FROM THE OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL