Attorneys General from Iowa and 47 other states are banding together to try to force an Atlanta company to notify consumers about a security breach that may have put their credit card numbers in the hands of thieves. Bob Brammer, a spokesman for Iowa’s Attorney General, says the group wants CardSystems — the Atlanta company that handled bank and credit card transactions — to notify consumers if their account information was compromised. “This is a new and frankly kind of scary area,” Brammer says. “It’s not anymore just somebody going through your trash, for example, and finding an old credit card receipt…There’s all sorts of major credit card disclosures that have happened in the system.” Reports last week indicated hackers may have had access to up to 22 million Visa accounts and 14 million Master Card accounts that were handled by the Atlanta company. “Even when we’re constantly preaching to consumers themselves (to) keep their personal information private, I mean, it doesn’t do a lot of good if companies are releasing important data wholesale,” Brammer says. He does note the type of information that may have been stolen in this latest scam did not include the theft of Social Security numbers or dates of birth. Those are the kinds of things scam artists need to steal someone’s identity and open new credit card accounts or take out bank loans. The Attorneys General are asking CardSystems to “do the responsible thing” and immediately notify that consumers whose credit card accounts were hacked into. “We just want to keep the heat on them to do the right thing,” Brammer says. If you’d like more information about your own financial status, you can get one free copy of your credit report each year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com, or call toll-free to 1-877-322-8228.
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