Major credit card company admits data breach, customer accounts compromised

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Check your credit card. If it's from American Express, then you'll want to listen up. The company has recently admitted a data breach that it's been hiding for two years.

American Express explained in a letter to the California attorney general's office that it "became aware that a third-party service provider engaged by numerous merchants experienced unauthorized access to its system."

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Major credit card company admits data breach, customer accounts compromised
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: A detail of the Ashley Madison website on August 19, 2015 in London, England. Hackers who stole customer information from the cheating site AshleyMadison.com dumped 9.7 gigabytes of data to the dark web on Tuesday fulfilling a threat to release sensitive information including account details, log-ins and credit card details, if Avid Life Media, the owner of the website didn't take Ashley Madison.com offline permanently. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
The Homeland Security Department headquarters in northwest Washington, Friday, June 5, 2015. China-based hackers are suspected once again of breaking into U.S. government computer networks, and the entire federal workforce could be at risk this time. The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that data from the Office of Personnel Management _ the human resources department for the federal government _ and the Interior Department had been compromised. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2015 file photo, the Anthem logo hangs at the health insurer's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Insurers aren't required to encrypt consumers' data under a 1990s federal law that remains the foundation for health care privacy in the Internet age _ a striking omission in light of the cyberattack against Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters in Culver City, Calif. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. The FBI has confirmed it is investigating a recent hacking attack at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which caused major internal computer problems at the film studio last week. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
FILE - In this file photo made Oct. 6, 2009, employee John Abou Nasr pushes shopping carts in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Methuen, Mass. Home Depot's data breach could wind up being among the largest ever for a retailer, but that may not matter to its millions of customers. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
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Since originally filing this notification with the attorney general's office, the company has revised its statement, claiming that a "merchant," rather than a "third-party service" was actually the victim of the breach. But, it's important to note that in both statements, American Express affirmed that none of its owned systems had been tampered with.

Should you be concerned? Well, it's tough to say how large the breach was, and what actually happened. Thus far, American Express has remained tight-lipped about the number of card members who were affected. And, the company's story seems to change periodically, which causes some to speculate over a possible cover-up.

Regardless, this story just goes to show how vulnerable we all are to having our personal information stolen.

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