What's several thousand credit card numbers between friends?
The alert was triggered by a name that was within a list of about 19,000 credit card numbers and personal information. When the person realized that thousands of credit card numbers were there for the taking on the world wide web, he tried to report it to Visa and Mastercard. Their response? None.
Again and again we hear stories of poor security leading to the compromise of thousands of credit card numbers, along with vital information. This data breach didn't just include credit card numbers, it also offered names, addresses, expiration dates, and the CVV numbers from the backs of the credit cards.
In addition, you should take advantage of the free credit reports you can get at annualcreditreport.com. These are truly free (and not part of some clever gimmick by a company wanting to profit from identity theft paranoia) and you can space out ordering the three reports you're entitled to during the year. Be as proactive as possible in monitoring your credit so that if your identity is stolen, you'll find out quickly and minimize the damage that you have to clean up.
Forensic accountant Tracy Coenen investigates corporate fraud and consumer scams, and is the author of Expert Fraud Investigation and Essentials of Corporate Fraud.