Consumer alert: More security breaches?

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January is usually when people start to get their credit card bills from the holidays, but before you pay, you might want to double-check those charges.

A consumer alert from WUSA9, an online report shows even more retailers have been breached. Here’s the breakdown: November 27th was the first day Target says their customers’ information became compromised. On January 11th, Neiman Marcus becomes the next retailer to announce a breach. On Sunday, a report from Reuters, at least three more retailers could come out of the wood works, with the same problem.

Consumers these days are more cautious with where they swipe their cards. “I always keep an eye on my bank account,” says a Morgan State college student. It’s something she knows all too well. “Somebody in Saudi Arabia was using my card, I don’t know how that happened,” she said.

She’s not alone, in November, more than 70 million Target customers’ credit cards were compromised. Saturday, Neiman Marcus announced, they too had been breached.

Even if you haven’t shopped at Neiman Marcus or Target, that doesn’t mean your information is safe. A new report out today shows that three other well known retailers, who have yet to be named, have also been hacked. The report, from Reuters, cites law enforcement sources familiar with the cases, only saying they involve retailers with outlets in malls. It’s not clear when the businesses will be named, either one or two things has happened: the companies don’t know they’ve been breached, or police are asking them to not speak out just yet.

Sources also say, the hacks may have come from eastern Europe, where most cyber crimes have originated. Computer security lawyer Mark Rasch says he’s not surprised by the latest breach, and this could be just the beginning. “This is obviously going to get larger and we are going to see tens of thousands or millions of people affected,” says Rasch.

Some say cash is king, but Rasch says, that’s easier said than done. “Unless you are prepared to keep your cash in your mattress, you’re going to have to put it in the bank and take it out of the bank, and to take it out of the bank. What do you do? Use an ATM card,” says Rasch.

Instead, remain vigilant and check your statements often. “The law applies to equally to credit and debit cards,” says Rasch. “It says basically if it’s not you and you didn’t charge it, you’re not responsible.”

If you think your account may have been compromised, better safe than sorry: call your company and ask for a new one.

Rasch says another big concern with these hacks is that it’s not just your credit card information that’s vulnerable, it’s your phone number, address and social security number.

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