Customers at Home Depot should be aware that their credit card information might have been compromised.
After a security blogger identified a breach in Home Depot's system, the retail giant recently admitted that its computer network was compromised.
According to the company, the breach occurred in April 2014 and continued to affect customers until early September. Any individual who shopped at Home Depot and paid for purchases with a credit or debit card during that time could be negatively affected.
Experts suggest that as many as 60 million credit card numbers were stolen during the security breach - more than the Target security breach that affected around 40 million individuals. Comparatively, the Target breach lasted for around three weeks, whereas Home Depot's system was infected for approximately five months. In addition, Home Depot operates around 400 more stores in the United States and Canada than Target.
Since the months-long security breach at Home Depot, a recently filed lawsuit against the company contends stolen credit card information was sold online, exposing consumers to fraudulent charges on their accounts.
Since reports of the breach, two U.S. senators have requested that the federal government launch an investigation into the security breach. In addition, five states have started their own investigations.
What could the breach mean for you?
Home Depot has told its customers that it will provide credit-monitoring services free of charge. Will such services be enough to protect the interests of those affected by the breach? In many cases, proactive measures will have to be taken to protect the credit of the consumers.
Credit card fraud - a form of identity theft in which an unauthorized user gains access to your credit card information and makes charges to your card - can have far-reaching negative effects for the credit card holder. Those who believe they may have been affected by the security breach at Home Depot should take steps to protect their interests.
When an individual makes unauthorized charges on your account, action should be taken to demonstrate that the charges are fraudulent. In such cases, it is often a good idea to discuss the situation with a skilled attorney, who will work on your behalf to show the creditor and credit bureaus that the charges were unauthorized.
If the charges are not promptly removed from your account, they may end up negatively affecting your credit report. In such cases, it is critical to get the charges removed from your report, thereby preventing your credit score from suffering.
If you were a victim of the Home Depot security breach or any incident that resulted in your credit card information being divulged, you need the help of a skilled consumer protection attorney. Consider seeking the counsel of a legal professional to ensure fraudulent charges are removed from your credit report and your credit score remains unharmed.