REPORT FROM THE DCCA – HONOLULU —The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection received notice from Neiman Marcus that at least 9,600 shoppers in Hawaii may have been affected by a recent data breach.
OCP Executive Director Bruce Kim urges Hawaii residents to take precautions if they believe they may be affected by a recent data breach involving retailer Neiman Marcus.
Businesses are required by Hawaii law to notify customers of any security breach involving personal information following discovery of the breach. Hawaii law also requires businesses to notify the OCP about the breach without unreasonable delay as well as information on the timing, distribution and content of the notices sent by the business to potentially affected consumers.
Neiman Marcus recently disclosed that computer hackers illegally obtained credit and debit card information from purchases made at company stores between July 16, 2013, and Oct. 30, 2013. This breach may have affected up to 1.1 million transactions nationwide.
“This is another serious security breach, which may affect a significant number of people,”Kim said. “Hawaii consumers who believe they may be at risk are urged to take immediate steps to protect their personal credit information as well unauthorized access to their credit or debit card accounts. We urge affected consumers to use the contact information provided by Neiman Marcus to find out how to protect themselves.”
The breach occurred in its point-of-sale system when the payment cards were swiped. The potentially compromised personal information included name and other Track One payment card data. At this time, Neiman Marcus says it did not include other personal information such as Social Security numbers or dates of birth. Neiman Marcus does not use PIN pads in their stores. The company believes online purchases were not affected.
Neiman Marcus advises shoppers to check their payment card statements for any suspicious transactions, and to call their card issuer to report it, if needed. If shoppers notice any suspicious activity on their Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman cards, they are advised to contact their local store or call the Neiman Marcus credit division at 1.800.685.6695.
Neiman Marcus has arranged to provide free credit monitoring services to any shopper who used a payment card at a Neiman Marcus store or shopped online between January 2013 and January 2014. Sign up instructions for this free service is available at www.neimanmarcus.com/infosecurity. The deadline to sign up for this free service is June 15, 2014.
If you believe you that you have been a victim of identity theft, the following information may be of help you:
Identity Theft Warning Signs
· Unauthorized charges on your credit card
· Receiving credit cards that you did not seek
· Missing credit card bills
· Calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise you did not buy or services you did not authorize
· Being denied credit or offered credit at less favorable terms for no apparent reason
· Unauthorized credit cards or charges on your credit report
Tips on Protecting Yourself Following a Security Breach
· Contact your creditors, including credit card companies, banks, and other lenders, to determine whether there is any suspicious or unauthorized activity that has occurred on your accounts.
· Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report. Order it and review it for problems.
· Contact any of the three consumer reporting companies to place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert does not block potential new credit, but places a comment on your history. Creditors should contact you prior to opening a new account. You only need to contact one of the three companies because that company is required to contact the other two. Once you place a fraud alert on your file, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report. The credit reporting agencies will send you a letter telling you how to order your free report. When you receive your credit reports, review them carefully and look for any suspicious activity.
· Be alert. It’s especially important in the first year following a security breach notification.
All consumers can obtain a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies, regardless of whether they have been identity theft victims. Call 1-877-322-8228 or request one online at www.annualcreditreport.com. You mayrequest a report from one of the reporting companies every four months and carefully review this report for suspicious activity.
Credit Reporting Agencies:
· Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
· Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
· TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
OCP is the primary agency responsible for reviewing, investigating and prosecuting allegations of unfair or deceptive trade practices in consumer transactions.