Data breach: Hackers stole credit card info from Saks, Lord & Taylor customers

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Data breach: Hackers stole credit card info from Saks, Lord & Taylor customers
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Criminals have stolen the credit card information of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor customers, the stores’ parent company announced in statements Sunday and Monday.

“We have identified the issue, and have taken steps to contain it,” the Hudson’s Bay Company said on the Saks website. “Once we have more clarity around the facts, we will notify our customers quickly and will offer those impacted free identity protection services, including credit and web monitoring.”

Report: 5 million impacted in Saks, Lord & Taylor data breach

While Hudson’s Bay didn’t state the number of people affected, Gemini Advisory, a cybersecurity firm that specializes in tracking stolen financial data, reported that a hacking syndicate said last week that it was selling 5 million stolen credit and debit cards from Saks and Lord & Taylor.

The Hudson’s Bay Company said that there is no indication that its other properties, including Home Outfitters, or HBC Europe, were affected by the hack.

Customers impacted by the breach won’t be liable for any fraudulent charges that show up on their accounts, the company said.

Concerned patrons are encouraged to contact Saks call center representatives beginning April 4 at 1-855-270-9187, Monday – Saturday, 8 am – 8 pm CT.

Data breaches have become commonplace in this age of e-commerce. Last week, athletic apparel company Under Armour notified users of its MyFitnessPal app about a data security breach affecting 150 million accounts. And the Equifax data breach may have exposed as many as 148 million people to identity theft.

With so many cybersecurity incidents in the news these days, you may be wondering what can you do to protect yourself. Money expert Clark Howard recommends taking these two steps to safeguard your personal info.

How to protect yourself from a data breach

1. Sign up for a free credit monitoring service

First, sign up for free credit monitoring at CreditKarma.com or CreditSesame.com Both of these services track suspicious activity on your account and suggest ways to keep your credit data safe.

2. Freeze your credit with Equifax, TransUnion and Experian

If you want the peace of mind knowing that no one can take out a new line of credit in your name, freeze your credit. Clark says that he froze his credit more than a decade ago and that it’s really simple to temporarily lift the freeze if you need to. Get started with his step-by-step Credit Freeze Guide.

RELATED: Half of Americans haven’t even checked their credit since the breach

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Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who stills read paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer.
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