BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hackers have now hit Neiman Marcus and at least three other stores. As federal authorities track what’s believed to be an international crime ring, customers are demanding answers.
Mike Hellgren is following the new developments in what may be the biggest data breach to ever hit U.S. stores.
Thieves have now stolen credit card and other sensitive information from one in four Americans with the new revelation that luxury chain Neiman Marcus joins Target as a victim of hackers.
It makes Denise Brown–who shops at both stores–nervous.
“You would hope, with technology, they are doing enough to protect us but there’s always someone who’s one up on them,” Brown said.
Reuters reports three more well-known retailers have also been breached. Sources declined to name the stores but said the thieves are likely based in eastern Europe.
“It absolutely is a big deal. Card fraud happens independent of data breaches. Data breaches accelerate the cases of card fraud,” said Yaron Samid, founder and CEO of BillGuard.
Neil O’Farrell with the ID Theft Council says the information will be sold on the black market and thieves are likely to contact victims, phishing for more information.
“When we thought it was just credit card numbers, that’s easy enough. But now you have so much information out there that you can’t cancel, that you can’t take back,” O’Farrell said.
Online customers of both Target and Neiman Marcus were not affected. Neiman Marcus says it first became aware of the breach in December.
“We informed federal law enforcement agencies and are working actively with the U.S. Secret Service, the payment brands, our credit card processor and a leading forensics firm to investigate the situation,” officials with Neiman Marcus said in a statement.
“It’s pretty scary. You never know what’s going to happen with it,” said Neiman Marcus shopper Liz Curran.
“They said my card was used to order a Domino’s pizza in India. It was also used 60 times on the Internet to order products, which really scared me,” said Target customer Gary Bogan.
As the fear–and the number of victims–grows, no arrests have been made.
The law requires retailers report theft of personal information and Target has involved the Maryland Attorney General’s Office in high level updates about the investigation.
The Secret Service and the Department of Justice are both investigating.
Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring to all Target customers, not only to those customers who had information compromised in the data breach. Interested consumers can register for the free credit monitoring at creditmonitoring.target.com.
Consumers with questions are encouraged to visit target.com/databreach or to contact Target directly at 866-852-8680.
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