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Complaints of Data Breaches Up 1600% in IL

Updated: Wednesday, February 12 2014, 11:09 AM CST

Target was hit with a string of data breaches that happened late last year when hackers broke into their systems, making millions of credit and debit card numbers across the country vulnerable to thieves.  That's part of the reason data breach complaints were up last year.

Illinois' Attorney General says the number of those kinds of complaints went up 1600%, compared to 2013. There were more than 20,000 complaints filed with Lisa Madigan’s office last year.  Five hundred and seventy six of those were centered around data breaches; compared to 33 the year before.

Madigan's office blames the huge spike on the major breaches reported by both target and advocate health care.

"We can't stress enough to keep track of credit and debit cards...if you are signing your name or giving the card to the sales clerk; making sure that somebody's not looking over your shoulder, and now it's even easier than it used to be when they would scribble down names and numbers, now they're taking cell phone shots of your credit card," said Attorney General Press Secretary Scott Mulford.

Last week, Madigan testified in Washington about the spike in identity theft and data breaches, and the urgent need for Congress to address the epidemic, not just in Illinois, but across the country. She says, last year alone, $21 billion were lost to identity theft here in the U.S.

Madigan is currently investigating the target and advocate health care breaches, as well as, two others reported this year by Niemen Marcus and Michaels stores.

Complaints of Data Breaches Up 1600% in IL


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