Home Depot recently announced that in addition to 56 million credit card accounts being compromised, 53 million email addresses were also taken in a recent data breach. Now the Better Business Bureau is reporting that Home Depot customers have been receiving fraudulent emails.
The emails are part of a scam called phishing, wherein cyber-criminals send messages in the hope of getting personal information back. In this case, the thieves are posing as consultant agencies telling individuals that a dead relative has left them money. The emails urge recipients to call a certain phone number in order to claim the funds.
"They will string you along, provide information back and forth to really build your confidence in them that this is real," Better Business Bureau President Tom Bartholomy told a local NBC affiliate. "Once they have that information, the game is on for them. They have your name, they have your banking information, and as they are talking to you on the phone, they've passed that information on to one of their colleagues who is sucking your account dry."
Scammers will even try to guess the name of your grandfather or great uncle by using the most popular names from the 1930's, 40's and 50's.
Dallas Business Journal reports that at least 30 class-action lawsuits have been filed against Home Depot as a response to the breach and resulting scams. Consumers are claiming that the home improvement company demonstrated neglect by failing to implement stronger security measures in order to protect their customers. At least some of the cases are likely to be merged into a single federal court action.
Ensure that your business is operating the most secure credit processing software. It's much better to prevent a breach than to clean up the aftermath of one.