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Jan 13, 2014 7:33 PM by Akeam Ashford

Keeping Cyber Thieves Out Your Wallet

The scope continues to expand in a massive cyber attack on retailers.

Luxury merchant Neiman Marcus confirmed over the weekend that some of its customer's card information was stolen.

This coming weeks after Target revealed hackers stole personal information, including names and phone numbers from as many as 70 million customers.

As scam artists constantly work to steal your personal information, many customers are curious as to what you can do to protect yourself.

"It just seems like we're so vulnerable today, who can you trust." Online shopper Greg Young says he's already cautious when it comes to his personal information. "I've had something like this happen to me before. They wanted me to consolidate my credit and get a newer lower rate, but I'm like wait a minute, I didn't even ask you for this information," Young said.

Young says one of the institutions you should be able to trust is your bank.

President of MidSouth Bank Rusty Cloutier says when thieves steal your money, the bank also takes a hit.

"We are the ones at the end of the day who are responsible. We want to help our customers, but certainly we're trying to encourage every customer we've got to modernize their account," Cloutier said.

Cloutier says now that thieves are using the internet to steal your money, maybe you should think about going from the old paper statements to online banking.

"It's just something you got to pay attention to. That's why I encourage people to get e-statements online, and to get fraud alert," Cloutier said.

Cloutier says whenever you suspect there's a problem with your account you should change your PIN first. He says this will slow down the scam artist momentarily. You can do this by going into the bank, or calling them.

You should also consider cancelling your cards, and getting new ones. This is free to do, but remember to contact companies you have automatic payments with to let them know your card number has changed.

Consider changing your debit/credit card PIN. You can check your bank's website where you may be able to change your PIN. If you can't do it on the website, you can do it at your local branch or over the phone. Cloutier says this is a small inconvenience today that can save a lot of frustration, time and money in the future.

Lastly, get your free credit report from the three main credit agencies once a year online at annualcreditreport.com. Once you get your credit reports, thoroughly examined them to see if there are any discrepancies or unauthorized activity. If you find anything, immediately report this to the credit agency so that it can be corrected.

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