BBB offers Tips for Consumers in the Wake of StubHub Data Breach

July 24, 2014

In the wake of the announcement that popular online ticket marketplace, StubHub, suffered a data breach, Better Business Serving Southern Arizona is cautioning consumers to take steps to safeguard their online privacy.

Law enforcement authorities arrested seven suspects- from Russia to New York- on Wednesday, accusing them of hacking into more than 1,000 StubHub accounts, and placing orders for more than 1.6 million tickets.

In a departure from the sort of data breach that affected Target and their customers in late 2013, StubHub said the hackers didn’t break directly into StubHub’s system, rather they stole account information from individual consumers using viruses downloaded onto personal computers, or through data breaches on other websites.

While StubHub has already alerted the victims of the alleged fraud and provided refunds to them, BBB is cautioning consumers to be extremely careful when sharing personal and financial information online. 

Financial information and personal information stored on any website can potentially be stolen by scammers and used to drain bank accounts or steal identities. Consumers should be careful about which websites they share this information with, and should regularly check their credit reports and bank account statements for irregular activity. 

Consumers should also be mindful to always make sure their computer’s anti-virus software is updated to prevent scammers from installing viruses on their computers that allow third parties to steal personal and financial information.

Additionally, BBB provides the following tips to help consumers avoid falling victim to a data breach or identity theft:

  • Quick Action - You need to act fast to dispute the charges and to limit your liability for charges or withdrawals you did not authorize. Many companies that issue credit cards voluntarily provide “zero” liability protection after you report the loss or theft of your credit or having your card compromised in a breach. Write a follow-up letter to confirm that you reported the loss.
  • Know your rights – They are different for credit cards and debit cards. Federal laws protect both. When using credit cards consumers’ liability is greatly limited. If you report the loss before your credit card is used, under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) you are not responsible for any charges you did not authorize. If your credit card number is stolen, but not the card itself you are not liable for unauthorized use. Debit cards are protected by the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) your protection is tied to how quickly you act.
  • Check with your insurance provider – Check your homeowners or renters insurance policy - it may cover losses due to fraud.
  • Credit Freeze/Alerts – A credit freeze will prevent any lender from accessing your credit reports or scores as part of a credit application. If you are a victim of ID Theft or your accounts have been compromised and you have created an Identity Theft Report you can place an extended credit alert on your credit report. An extended alert lasts for 7 years. There may be a minimal fee required.

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