On September 13, 2022, City Furniture, Inc. confirmed that the company experienced a data breach after sensitive consumer data contained on City Furniture’s network was compromised. While City Furniture has not yet confirmed the type of information that was leaked, based on reporting requirements in Massachusetts, where City Furniture filed notice of the breach, it is likely the incident impacted consumers’ names, as well as their Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses number or financial account information. Recently, City Furniture sent out data breach letters to all affected parties, informing them of the incident and what they can do to protect themselves from identity theft and other frauds.
What We Know About the City Furniture Data Breach
News of the City Furniture breach comes from the company’s official filing with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. However, while Massachusetts requires companies to provide notice of a breach to affected consumers, the information the company must provide is very limited. Thus, all that is known is that certain consumer information in the company’s possession was possibly subject to unauthorized access. The company did not elaborate on when the incident occurred or when the company discovered that consumer data was compromised.
Despite the lack of information provided in the letter, it is likely that the City Furniture data breach involved affected parties’ names, as well as one or more of the following:
Social Security numbers,
Driver’s license or state identification numbers, or
Financial account or credit/debit card information.
On September 13, 2022, City Furniture sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
Founded in 1971, City Furniture, Inc. is a furniture store based in Tamarac, Florida. Through more than 20 locations throughout Florida, as well as the company’s e-commerce site, City Furniture sells a wide range of home furnishings, including items for the living room, dining room, home office, nursery and kitchen. City Furniture employs more than 2,415 people and generates approximately $509 million in annual revenue.
How Can Consumers Protect Themselves After Receiving a Data Breach Letter?
As companies store more data online, it’s resulted in a virtual goldmine for hackers and cybercriminals. Not surprisingly, over the past decade, data breaches have become much more common. In fact, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, more than 320 million people had their information exposed through a data breach in 2021 alone. This is an increase of nearly 50 percent from the 2019 figures. Unfortunately, many victims of identity theft experienced fraud as a direct result of a data breach.
Given the frequency with which data breaches occur as well as their potential consequences, it is essential that anyone whose information is leaked in a breach knows how they can protect themselves.
After a data breach, the biggest risk is that a hacker (or someone on the dark web who purchased the information from a hacker) uses your information to steal your identity. Of course, once you trust a company with your information, there is nothing you can do to prevent a breach. However, after learning of a breach, there are certain steps you can take to reduce the chances of falling victim to identity theft or other fraud.
Read the Data Breach Letter Carefully
After receiving a data breach letter, you should carefully review the letter to determine what information was compromised. While these steps apply to all data breaches, they are not an exhaustive list. So, depending on the type of data that was exposed, you may consider taking additional steps to protect yourself. This is especially the case if a breach leaks highly sensitive information, such as your Social Security number or financial account information.
Monitor Your Accounts Closely
Hackers generally use any stolen information as quickly as possible—before victims can close their accounts or make it more difficult for them to perpetrate frauds. However, sometimes hackers cannot immediately conduct fraudulent transactions because they need additional information. This can take some time. Thus, it is imperative that you are diligent in checking your online bank and credit card accounts, as well as your credit report. This monitors any accounts that were recently closed or not compromised in the breach. At the first sign of any unauthorized activity, be sure to close all affected accounts and notify the institution that maintains the account.
Enroll in the Free Credit Monitoring Offered by the Company
Credit monitoring is a service that alerts you if someone is attempting to use your information to open up a new credit account. Credit monitoring service typically costs between $20 and $40 per month. However, companies typically offer victims free credit monitoring services for a period of time—usually between one to two years. Indeed, City Furniture indicates that it will be providing victims of the breach with this service for 24 months. There is no harm in signing up for this service, as taking a company up on their offer will not impact your ability to pursue a data breach claim against the company if that is something you decide to pursue.
Consider a Fraud Alert or a Credit Freeze
Fraud alerts and credit freezes offer an additional layer of protection in the wake of a data breach. These services are offered by all three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert notifies potential creditors that your information was compromised, raising a red flag each time a company pulls your credit. A credit freeze provides even more protection by preventing anyone from pulling your credit without your advance approval. The Identity Theft Resource Center explains that placing a credit freeze on your credit account is the single best way to prevent fraud after a data breach.
The consequences of a data breach can be severe; however, they may also be preventable. Victims of the City Furniture data breach who are interested in learning more about their options should reach out to an experienced data breach lawyer for immediate assistance.
If you have recently made a purchase at City Furniture or received a data breach letter from the company, your information may have been accessible to an unauthorized party. While not every data breach results in identity theft, victims of a breach are at a much higher risk. To learn more about data breach victims’ rights and whether you may have a legal claim against City Furniture based on your information being compromised, you can review our recent piece on the topic here.