The latest attack by hackers appears to be on a home improvement store. Home Depot has disclosed that “unusual activity” indicates a possible breach of their database.
The Iowa Attorney General’s office sent out a notice saying if you have shopped at Home Depot in the past six months, you should carefully monitor your credit and debit card accounts. The AG’s office says if you find any credit card charges or debit card activity that looks out of place, you should immediately contact the card issuer.
You are also encouraged to change the PIN on your debit card. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call Home Depot directly. The toll-free number is 1-800-HOMEDEPOT
Here is more information from the Attorney General’s office on handling the Home Depot situation.
Immediately review and monitor your credit card and debit card information. Continue to carefully monitor and review your account activity, financial accounts and credit reports. If you notice any irregular activity or charges, contact the fraud departments of your credit card issuers or, for debit cards, your bank. These financial institutions can monitor your account for suspicious activity. You may also wish to discuss the advisability of requesting a new account number.
You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each credit bureau. Order a copy of your credit report, and look for unauthorized activity.
Call one of the three major credit bureaus and place a one-call fraud alert on your credit report:
- Equifax: Phone: 1-(800) 525-6285; Address: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
- Experian: Phone: 1-(888) 397-3742; Address: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
- TransUnion: Phone: (800) 680-7289; Address: Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Initial Fraud Alert
An initial fraud alert can make it harder for criminals to open more accounts in your name. When you have an alert placed on your report, a business must verify your identity before it issues credit, so it may try to contact you to confirm the credit request. The alert stays on your report for at least 90 days, and you can renew it after 90 days. A fraud alert allows you to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies. Be sure the credit reporting companies have your current contact information so they can get in touch with you.
You only need to call one of the three credit bureaus; the law requires that the bureau that you notify contact the other two bureaus.
Extended Fraud Alert
If there is unauthorized activity on your credit report, you may request an extended fraud alert to be placed on your credit report.
An extended fraud alert ensures that any time a user of your credit report (for instance, a credit card company or lender) checks your credit report, it will be notified that you do not authorize any new credit cards, any increase in credit limits, the issuance of a new card on an existing account, or other increases in credit, unless the user takes extra precautions to ensure that it is giving the additional credit to you (and not to a criminal).
To have an extended fraud alert placed on your credit report, you must file a police report with your local law enforcement agency, keep a copy for yourself, and provide a copy to one of the three major credit bureaus. An extended fraud alert can be placed on your credit file for a seven-year period.