While many of you may never have heard of Wawa, it is a convenience store chain of more than 850 stores around the country.  Wawa recently disclosed that it had suffered a data breach that went undiscovered for nine months in which credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and cardholders’ names were stolen by hackers.  In response to the data breach, the CEO of Wawa issued a detailed letter to affected customers in which you can find the information to activate free credit monitoring offered by Wawa.   Here is a link to that letter.  https://www.wawa.com/alerts/data-security


This data breach is a lesson to us all to carefully monitor our credit card statements for indication of fraudulent use.  If you find that your card has been used by a hacker, you should immediately report it to your credit card company.  While federal law allows credit card companies to hold you responsible for fraudulent charges on your credit card to a maximum of $50, I have never heard of a credit card company that ever held a customer responsible for any amount of fraudulent charges promptly reported.  This is a good time to remind you to also refrain from ever using your debit card for anything other than an ATM card because the laws do not protect you from fraudulent use of your credit card to the extent that you are protected when using your credit card.  Potentially you risk losing the entire bank account tied to your debit card if you do not promptly report any fraudulent use.

This is also a good time if you have not yet frozen your credit reports with each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, to do so now to protect yourself from possible identity theft. it is free and easy to do.

To get the maximum protection from identity theft, it is important to freeze your credit at each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Here are links to each of them with instructions about how to get a credit freeze:

If you have not enrolled in an identity theft protection service, this data breach is also a good reminder to us all to consider signing up for one.  I have looked into many of these services and have given my endorsement to Identron, which I believe provides the best overall identity theft protection services including credit monitoring and much more.  Here is a link to Identron https://www.identron.com/partner/steven-j-j-weisman-esq/

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