Thousands of credit and debit card numbers seem to have been stolen from Sally Beauty Supply (SBH), a national beauty-products chain, according to a report from security blogger Brian Krebs. About 282,000 stolen cards went up for sale on an underground crime store March 2, Krebs writes, and a sample of cards bought and analyzed by banks showed purchases at Sally Beauty Supply stores in the past 10 days.
A spokeswoman for Sally Beauty Supply told Krebs the company had detected an intrusion into its network around Feb. 24, but an investigation had yet to reveal evidence of customers’ cards being stolen. The investigation is ongoing, the spokeswoman said.
With little else known about the breach, Sally Beauty customers have few options other than closely monitoring their credit and debit card statements. It’s good to develop a habit of checking your transaction activity on a daily basis, and no matter how often you look at your accounts now, you’ll want to increase that frequency if you are concerned about being a data-breach victim.
Texas-based Sally Beauty has stores in every state, amounting to about 2,600 nationwide. It is unclear if any of the stolen cards have been tied to CosmoProf or Armstrong McCall stores, which are a part of the company’s Beauty System Group. Those stores take the U.S. total to 4,000 locations.
What to Do
If you see an unauthorized transaction appear on your account, you’ll want to contact your issuer immediately. Thieves often make small purchases first, to see if the card is valid, before moving on to more expensive fraud.
While consumer credit cards include protection from fraud liability, business credit cards and debit cards do not have all the same protections, so it’s important to quickly act on suspected card information theft. Considering it can take a few days (or longer) to be made whole after fraud, it’s especially important for debit card users to watch their accounts for potential misuse of funds.
If you’re worried in general about identity theft, it’s good to check your annual free credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Also, by monitoring your credit scores (which you can do using a paid service, or free tool like Credit.com’s Credit Report Card), you can be alerted to a problem with your credit if you notice an unexplained drop in your scores.
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