News & Resources

Credit card breaches affect millions

Apr 06, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

When citizens discover their identity has been stolen, they usually contact one of the credit report services in an attempt to place a freeze on their lines of credit and attempt to rectify any fraudulent charges. Credit reporting agencies should expect to be contacted by many clients in the near future due to a massive credit card information breach. MSNBC reported that a processor storing approximately 10 million Visa and MasterCard credit card numbers was breached sometime between January 21 and February 25, 2012. The source explained that the companies released a statement warning that the information stolen, including the card owner's name, account number, expiration date and PIN number, could result in the counterfeiting of new cards and that banks should be on the lookout for criminals. As Visa and MasterCard are two of the most popular credit card companies in the United States, credit reporting companies may be contacted by a large number of worried citizens requesting copies of their credit reports or placing alerts on their accounts. TransUnion detailed the different types of alerts that can be placed on a file, including the 90 day initial fraud alert, a 7 year-long extended alert as well as an alert offered for those on active military duty.