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Be cautious with credit, debit cards

Earlier this week, it was reported that popular fast food chain Wendy’s was looking into claims of “unusual activity” on customers’ credit or debit cards in some locations.

It is unclear how widespread the possible data breach may be or how many stores were affected, but it certainly makes one uneasy to think that simply going out for a quick bite could compromise your bank account.

In instances such as this, or other, like the Target data breach a couple of years ago, it would be impossible for customers to see that attack coming or stop it from happening. But there are plenty of measures one can take to make sure hackers don’t get the better of you or your accounts.

Check your credit card and debit card accounts regularly. Monitor your accounts to look for suspicious activity, such as charges you don’t remember making. If you find any errors, immediately notify your credit or debit card provider.

Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report. Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion — to place an initial fraud alert, which will stay on your credit report for 90 days.

And check your credit report annually. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.

Individuals who find evidence of identity theft, such as fraudulent credit card charges, credit reporting errors, or unauthorized accounts, should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit by calling 800-282-0515.