Another large retailer launched an investigation of a possible breach of customers’ payment card data. On Tuesday, Staples announced that the retailer contacted law enforcement to launch a data breach investigation after a security report tied instances of fraud to Staples stores in the northeast. The announcement comes, ironically, as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month draws to a close.

Staples has issued a statement absorbing liability for any fraudulent activity on credit cards of affected individuals if the investigation discovers a breach.

Several large retailers across the board have been affected by security breaches in the last 12 months including Target, Home Depot, Michael’s craft stores, and Goodwill Industries. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there have been a total of 621 credit card data breaches since January 2014, affecting an estimated 77.8 million consumers.

As we come up on the holiday season, these credit card data breaches may affect buying decisions. According to a new survey by, nearly half of American shoppers are considering avoiding places that have experienced security breaches in the past year. Over half of those aged 65+ express the largest aversion to stores that have had a data breach, stating that they would completely avoid the store.

Why We Should Be More Forgiving of Retailers That Have Survived Data Breaches 

  1. Larger retailers are dedicating time, resources, and money to monitor security and reduce data breach threats. They want to win back your trust and will go to great lengths to increase security standards.
  2. Safer cards are on the way, thanks to chip and pin technology. Many banks have already issued new cards with more secure technology. Target and other retailers are converting over their payment processing machines to stay current with the latest credit card security architecture.
  3. Under most state laws, you are not liable for any debt incurred on fraudulent new accounts opened in your name and without your permission. Your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card is limited to $50.  If you report the loss to the credit card company before your credit card is used, you are not responsible for any unauthorized use.

Practices to Help You Avoid Data Breaches

  • Pay with Retailers that Create Disposable Credit Card Numbers when Shopping Online. Online banking institutions and online Wallet companies have started to do this as a security measure.  
  • Use Cash at your Local Store
  • Use Cash to Load Prepay Cards and shop with the Prepay Cards

eSmart Tax continues its commitment to keeping your data secure by keeping you aware of the latest scams and cyberthreats that affect taxpayers. Don't miss the latest security updates: like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.  Our software uses encryption levels that are similar to what banks and financial institutions use to keep your information private and secure.  Our dedicated team stays on top of the latest cyberthreats and continually updates the software to minimize security and fraud vulnerabilities.  For additional information about eSmart Tax’s efforts to keep your information secure please contact Customer Support at