Customers of a major shoe store chain need to watch their credit card statements. The company that operates DSW Shoe Warehouse says a credit card company first reported suspicious activity. An investigation is now underway into how hackers accessed the company's computer database.
"When you shop there never think that's gonna happen," customer Jeanne Burt says.
But the company says it happened, hackers got into its computer database.
"I shop at DSW and I use my credit card," Burt says.
Anyone who used a credit card within the last three months at a DSW Shoe Warehouse is at risk.
When Burt heard of the problem, she thought she might have reason to worry. But she's likely not affected. Burt last visited the DSW Shoe Warehouse in Middleton last summer, yet she still might deal with the consequences of this crime.
Burt oversees Wisconsin's consumer information center.
"We get calls from people who have these types of situations every day. ID theft is an ongoing problem," she says.
The company that operates DSW Shoe Warehouse will not disclose which, stores were affected, but says information was stolen from more than 100 of the chain's 175 stores. The company discovered the theft late last week.
One shopper at a local mall says, "It's my understanding if someone uses your card and it's illegal, you're not responsible."
Experts agree but recommend people keep a close eye on their statements.
"You have to protect yourself every month, you have to take a close look at your bills every month to make sure you're not being charged for something you're not responsible for," Glen Loyd from Consumer Protection says.
The company reports Internet sales were not affected.
Consumer protection also recommends taking advantage of a free credit report now available to people in Wisconsin.
You can access more information online at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
Wisconsin's Consumer Protection hotline is 800-422-7128.