SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - A recent database break allowed hackers access to 3.6 million South Carolinians' social security numbers, but the state is not the first to report such a security breach.
Major retailers ward off potential hackers with top-of-the-line security guarding their customers' personal information, like debit and credit card numbers. However, when those databases are compromised, the customer may be the one to pay.
Just last week Barnes & Noble reported it had been hacked, potentially affecting customers at 63 of its stores in nine state. While the Palmetto State was not included in the list of affected stores, it does raise the question of how can consumers better protect their money and identity?
Anyone can call one or all of the three credit reporting companies to place a fraud alert and to place a security freeze on their credit report. Contact information is below:
- Equifax: 800-685-1111
- TransUnion: 800-680-7289
- Experian: 888-397-3742
If you feel your credit or debit card is being used without your consent, make sure to change the PIN numbers on debit cards and review account activity for unauthorized transactions. If any unauthorized purchases or withdrawals are discovered, notify your bank immediately. Be sure to check for cash advances on credit cards, as the fraudulent activity may not always show up under "purchases."