What to do if you shopped at a store hit by a data breach


Mexican-cuisine chain Chipotle is the most recent establishment to be hit by a data breach, potentially putting the financial information of countless diners at risk. While this is the latest in a long list of data breaches, including Target, Home Depot and Sony, it almost certainly won't be the last.

If you think your credit card information may have been compromised, it's important that you know what to do to protect yourself.

For more information on data breaches and identity theft, check out identitytheft.gov.

1. Request a new credit card

The first thing you'll want to do is
(Credit: Bloomberg/Daniel Acker)

The first thing you'll want to do is call your credit card company and request a replacement for your current credit card. This will cancel your existing card, limiting the number of charges that can be rung up fraudulently.

You can find the phone number of the financial institution that issued your credit card, such as Chase, Citi, Barclays or Capital One, on the back of your credit card.

2. Review your billed transactions

Canceling your credit card may limit the number
(Credit: iStock)

Canceling your credit card may limit the number of transactions that can be fraudulently made using your info, but it won't stop any damage that was previously done.

It's up to you to monitor your transactions regularly, which should be done even if a data breach hasn't occurred, to ensure no fraudulent purchases were made.

If you notice any charges that you don't recognize, call your credit card's fraud department to have them removed. It's important to remember that you will never be asked to pay for any charges that were made fraudulently.

3. Update accounts with automatic payments

Remember to update any accounts you may have
(Credit: iStock)

Remember to update any accounts you may have set up with automatic recurring payments. These accounts won't know that you've received a new credit card with new numbers, so it's important to provide your updated information.



4. Check your credit report

Remember to periodically check your credit report for
(Credit: CreditKarma)

Remember to periodically check your credit report for any abnormalities that can impact your score.

Opening new accounts, whether it be credit cards or lines of credit, will result in hard pulls being made on your credit, which typically lower your credit score. This can be a good first indicator to determine if someone has stolen your identity.

There are several free credit reporting services available for those who do not want to pay for this service, including CreditKarma, Discover and FreeCreditReport.com.

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