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Staples Data Breach Can Lead to Identity Theft

By Faye Mergel
Published: Thursday, January 8th, 2015

The recent news on the data breach at Staples led to many concerns regarding possibilities of identity theft arising in the near future. The company confirmed that it suffered a breach in the payment system that had sensitive information about the credit and debit cards of more than 1.16 million customers. Most of these were identities of people who used their plastics at 119 locations of Staples across the U.S.A. The incidence happened about six months ago. There are instances where the criminals used the information and cheated a number of people out of their hard earned money.

Based on these facts, and confirmations by Staples, if you have used your debit or credit card at any Staples outlet between April and September 2014, then it is important that you protect yourself from fraudulent card activity immediately.

The news of the breach broke in last October, when a report by the reporter Brian Krebs confirmed that several banks in the U.S. were investigating fraudulent payments involving card payments that traced back to Staples. However, at that time Staples only confirmed that there were investigations regarding a sensitive issue, without confirming the news of a data breach.

It was on 19th December that Staples confirmed reports of the breach and payment card systems at 1,400 locations. A malware type tool infected their server to steal customers’ payment information; this included sensitive information like the cardholders’ names, debit/credit card numbers, expiration dates, and magnetic strip verification codes.

One hundred and fifteen (115) Staples stores were victims of the attack in July/August 2014. Four stores in Manhattan seem connected to the fraud activity and dated to different times in April through to August. However, according to reports, the spokesperson for Staples says that they found no malware at any of these locations.

Recently, Staples released a complete list of endangered stores, and the dates between which the incidence happened.

Victims of this incidence and those who used their cards at any of these Staple outlets are entitled to a year of free identity theft insurance, credit monitoring, and a free credit report via Experian. To claim these compensations, you need to visit the website given by Staples. Alternatively, you can call them on (866) 274-4371 between 9am and 9pm on weekdays and between 11am and 8pm on weekends (EST).

You can also minimize the risks of payment card fraud on your account by taking the right measures like checking your credit history regularly and reporting anomalies immediately. Once you involve credit alert companies, you will receive a notification immediately once someone tries to use your card.

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