Ok, so we got our credit card bill and sure enough a small purchase was made at Home Depot in August. Rats! Another few weeks and we would have avoided the security breach. Anyway, the dark deed was done so now I need to figure out how to best protect ourselves from someone fraudulently using the information from our credit card. I started checking into what you are supposed to do if your credit card was used at Home Depot between April and September 2014 when the security breach took place.
What Might Happen Because of the Home Depot Credit Card Hack?
First I read through several stories on the CBC news website about the problem.
- CBC News Home Depot Security Hack What to Do If Your Cards Were Breached
- This article says we should contact our bank and advise them that we were affected and that we should follow the recommendations of our card provider.
- It also says to watch for “tiny” transactions on our credit card that may be tests by someone committing fraud to see if they can get away with using our card number.
- And if your card is not already a Chip card (ours is), it may be worth asking your provider for one that is.
- CBC News Home Depot Offers Credit Monitoring Amid Card Breach Worries
- CBC News Home Depot Says Canadians Could be Affected By Security Breach
- CBC News Home Depot Credit Card Security Breach Could Cost 3 Billion
So it looks like the most expected outcome is that someone will try to charge your credit card for purchases you did not make.
What Should I Do to Protect Myself from Fraudulent Charges and Identity Theft Related to the Home Depot Breach?
One of the news articles directed me to check how to protect myself by visiting the Home Depot website. The suggested URL is: https://homedepot.allclearid.com/
Reading through the information on that page, I realized the procedure is different for customers in the USA and in Canada, although both may have been affected.
Since I’m Canadian, I went with the instructions for Canada.
Basically, I need to
- Keep checking my monthly credit card statement for any fraudulent charges.
- If desired, phone and check the “last transactions” periodically on my credit card to make sure they’re charges I placed.
- If I detect any fraud or identity theft, I should contract a special team at AllClear ID to handle the problem.
- As usual, treat any email received as a fraudulent attempt to get personal information. Deal directly with Equifax or AllClear by calling them not by responding to email.
- For increased security, I can enroll, for free, in the Equifax Premier Service until September 8, 2015. This includes “credit monitoring” and “an identity theft insurance policy.” I’m not too sure what that means so I’ll write more about it when I find out.
How Affected Canadians Can Enroll in the Equifax Credit Monitoring Program via Home Depot
I can either phone Equifax to request the Premier Service or I can email them.
The contact phone numbers and email address are posted at: https://homedepot.allclearid.com/
I think I’ll try the email route. I hate voicemail prompts and getting parked on hold.
As requested, I’m sending in my first and last name and waiting for some kind of code to be emailed to me.
I sent the email at 3:54 on Thursday September 18, 2014.
And now I wait.
On Saturday September 20 at 9:20 AM there is still no reply.
I wonder if I’ll have to face the phone hassle after all?
UPDATE: On Sunday (!) September 21 at 2:58 PM we received the reply email with the access code. Now I just have to figure out how to use it and what use it is!
- How to Setup my Equifax Premier Account with My Home Depot Security Code
- What Happens When Your Credit Card Is Used Illegally and Fraudulently?
- Credit Card Security: Get and Use a Low-Limit Credit Card for Internet Shopping
Did you shop at Home Depot during the affected time? Isn’t it annoying to discover you have extra work to do just because you fixed that leaking sink? Please share your experiences with a comment.