Here we go again.
Home Depot is looking into a potential data breach of consumers' credit and debit card information first reported by security blogger Brian Krebs on Tuesday.
Per Krebs, "multiple banks say they are seeing evidence that Home Depot stores may be the source a massive new batch of stolen credit and debit cards that went on sale this morning in the cybercrime underground."
Krebs similarly broke the news about a potential data breach at Goodwill Industries International in July, a confirmed P.F. Chang's data breach in June and, of course, the massive Target data breach back in December.
"Protecting our customers' information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers," said Paula Drake, a spokeswoman for Home Depot, in a written statement. "If we confirm that a breach has occurred, we will make sure customers are notified immediately."
UPDATE: The company said in a statement it would offer free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to any potentially affected customers, should the breach be confirmed.
Drake said the company would provide additional information on the potential breach "as soon as possible."
This year has, unfortunately, been ridden with reports of data breaches. In addition to the aforementioned compromises, breaches were confirmed at eBay, UPS and Tennessee-based Community Health Systems.
As such, you should remain vigilant about safeguarding your financial and/or personal information. These steps include routinely changing passwords, setting up alerts and diligently monitoring bank statements for suspicious charges.
If unauthorized charges do appear, notify your issuer immediately to have the card replaced and the charges removed, minimizing the chances of being held liable for them.
If you fear you were affected by a breach, you can also place a fraud alert on your credit report, since mysterious line items are a good sign that identity theft is occurring.
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