Attention Kmart shoppers: Your credit card information may have been compromised. The retailer is alerting customers that it got hacked. An internal investigation discovered that the department store chain’s payment data systems were hit by malicious code, according to a statement from the company. Although the code is similar to a virus, their current antivirus program was unable to detect it. Kmart says it's planning to reach out to those customers who may be affected by the breach, but you should still take steps to protect yourself if you shopped there recently. "We are complying with all applicable legal requirements and working with the payment card networks to notify the card-issuing banks who maintain the contact information for customers whose cards may have been impacted," according to the Kmart website. They say they believe this attack was criminal and are working with law enforcement agencies to investigate. "Given the criminal nature of this attack, Kmart is working closely with federal law enforcement authorities, our banking partners, and IT security firms in this ongoing investigation," according to Kmart.
What Did They Get?
While Kmart says the hackers did not gain access to personal information—names, birth dates, social security numbers—the store says hackers might have stolen customers' credit card information. Good news, though. Since all Kmart stores use the new "chip and pin" technology, the store believes it will be hard for hackers to create counterfeit cards. Kmart also does not believe that the hackers stolen debit card pin numbers. This hack is likely isolated to Kmart stores. There is no evidence that Kmart customers who shopped online or Sears customers were affected by the breach. Kmart says that the issue has been resolved, so in-store shoppers can pay with their cards without fear.
What Should You Do?
If you recently used your credit or debit card for payment at a Kmart store, you can take several steps to protect your credit.
- Monitor your credit card and bank account statements carefully, reporting any suspicious charges to your bank or credit card company immediately.
- Request a new credit or debit card from the bank or credit card company.
- Rest assured that you will not be liable for fraudulent charges. The Federal Trade Commission states that consumers are not liable for authorized transactions when the card was not lost, provided they report charges within 60 days of the statement showing the charges.
- In addition, customers can visit Kmart's website or call the retailer’s customer care center at 888-488-5978 for questions or updated information.