If ever there were a reason to make the appeal to cut up those credit cards, it would be the major retail security breaches that have come to light these last few weeks. To start with, 40 million debit and credit card numbers and 70 million names, email addresses and phone numbers have been stolen from Target. CNN is now reporting that Homeland Security has issued warnings to retailers to hopefully prevent future cyber attacks, but in the meantime, Neiman Marcus and Target shoppers are left to fret over whether their credit cards — or worse, social security information — is safe.
Worse yet, the Washington Post is saying that the security breach that hit Target "appears to have been part of a broader and highly sophisticated scam that potentially affected a large number of retailers." Well, surely if that were the case we'd know by now, right? Not so fast. Turns out the security breach at Neiman Marcus went undetected from July to December and it was not fully contained until a few days ago.
According to the retailer, some customers’ credit cards were used fraudulently after making purchases at the stores and they have taken the steps to notify those that they know have been affected. As of now, it is not believed that any social security numbers, PIN numbers or birth dates were obtained and the retailer's CEO issued a public apology on its website.
Target and Neiman Marcus both offer customers who made a credit card purchase in the past year a free credit monitoring service for one year “for an added layer of protection," and according to the open letter Neiman Marcus apology, sign-up instructions for the service will become available on the Neiman’s site by January 24.
Neiman Marcus also writes that there's no evidence that the breach is connected to the one at Target.