In 2015, Barclays noted, that the United States was responsible for 47% of the worlds credit card fraud worldwide. This statistic despite the fact the United States only accounted for 24% of the entire worlds credit card volume.
In 2014 54% of data breaches were related to data were related to identity theft. Conversely, identity theft fraud creating fake credit cards is higher in the United States than it has ever been. Here are some examples of the most highly publicized data breeches in recent years.
• Home Depot: 109 million records accessed.1
• JP Morgan Chase: 83 million records accessed.1
• Michael’s Stores: 3 million records accessed.1
• Staples: 1.16 million records accessed.1
• Domino’s Pizza: 650,000 records accessed.1
• Sony Pictures Entertainment: 47,000 records accessed.1
• Target: 40 million credit card numbers and 70 million addresses accessed.2
• Niemen Marcus: 350,000 cardholders impacted.2
EBay: 145 million records accessed.
What does all of this mean? Well chances are, if you have shopped at one of these places, that your information has been compromised. What do you do? First thing you do is change all of your passwords for all of your banking, financial, and log in sites. Any place that may have your credit card information. Second thing to do is to subscribe to a credit monitoring site. Set up alerts for your personal and business accounts that will let you know if someone tries to access your credit. There are numerous companies that will monitor your credit for free or a nominal monthly fee.
What do you do if you are breached? First thing is to alert the credit agencies. Inform them in writing that you have been breached. Cancel all of our credit cards and have them reissued. You may have to go as far as to change banking accounts, and financial investment accounts. This will be a painful process for you, but you have to keep focused with the credit reporting agencies and very vigilant. In some cases, you may have to find legal representation to work your case.
Identity theft is the biggest threat to everyone in the world’s online presence. You cannot stop security breaches at major companies as we have detailed. But you can protect yourself by monitoring and paying attention to your credit and your bank accounts.