BBB: Protecting Yourself Against Data Breaches

More and more data breaches are being exposed, including ones at Target and Home Depot.

The BBB has some suggestions for consumers concerned that their credit or debit cards may have been compromised by a data breach at a retail or online store.

1. Stay calm. Consumers are not liable for fraudulent charges on stolen account numbers.

2. Check with the website of the retailer for the latest information. Type the store name directly into your browser. Do not click on a link from an email or social media message.

3. If your card was compromised, you will likely hear from the bank or card-issuer first. If you have questions, call the customer service number on your card.

4. If your card was compromised, consider putting a fraud alert your credit report with the three major credit reporting agencies. A credit freeze will prevent anyone from accessing your credit report or scores.

5. If you shopped at the retailer with a credit card:

· Monitor your credit card statements carefully (go online; don't wait for the paper statement).

· If you see a fraudulent charge, report it to your bank or credit card issuer immediately so the charge can be reversed and a new card issued.

Remember Debit cards do not have the same protections as credit cards since debit transactions withdraw funds directly from your bank account.