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Wilmington Consumer Protection Law Blog

Was there a skimmer on your gas pump?

Like most motorists in North Carolina, you likely use your credit card at your local gas station. It's a definite time-saver when you can simply swipe your card at the gas pump instead of taking cash inside and possibly getting stuck in a long checkout line, not to mention being tempted to buy junk food or other items you don't need. Using your credit card to pay for gasoline may also allow you to fill your tank when you don't have a lot of cash on hand.

As long as you're paying off your balance every month, this shouldn't cause you any financial trouble. In fact, many consumers use regular credit card purchases like this to help build their credit scores. Advanced technology has, unfortunately, brought some serious risks to credit card users, however. For instance, the gas pump you're using may have a skimmer on it, placed there by hackers who are waiting in the wings to steal your personal data and use it to their advantage. Know your rights and what you can do about it.

Could your medical device be a virtual doorway for hackers?

Along with most people in the country, nearly everyone here in North Carolina has received a new debit or credit card with the new chip technology designed to ward off data breaches. The effectiveness of this new technology has yet to be thoroughly tested, but it may make consumers feel that their money is safer.

Sadly, there are far worse potential data breaches looming in places where you definitely want to feel safe: hospitals. Advancements in technology save numerous lives each year, and many of them allow for real-time monitoring by physicians and other medical personnel. Vital adjustments to your device no longer involve further invasive procedures. Do you know how? Though the internet.

Has your insurance company put your personal information at risk?

You, like most other North Carolina residents, likely have many accounts with various companies for numerous services. You may conduct actions with those accounts solely online, or you may have reason to visit brick-and-mortar establishments to discuss your information and your accounts with in-person professionals. Whatever the case, you likely dispel a great deal of personal information with these accounts, even if you do not fully realize it.

Though you may feel trusting of the accounts you create with your insurance company or other institutions, your information may not always remain safe. Unfortunately, data breaches can occur, and even the most prestigious businesses could face negative impacts. Additionally, your personal identity could be at risk. If you discover that such a breach has occurred with your insurance company, you may wish to take the following steps.

Don't let the bad guys get their hands on your data

If you've been a North Carolina business owner for several years or more, you no doubt understand how challenging it can be to keep a business running smoothly and protect the bottom line. Nowadays, the same advanced technology that helps you stay at the top of your game can also place you at great risk for compromised security and data breaches. That said, it's always best to regularly conduct data protection reviews to make sure you're doing everything possible to keep your business information safe.

The last thing you need is for your customers' information to fall into the hands of hackers who may sell it or otherwise use it for criminal gain. To avoid such problems, there are several things you can do ahead of time in order to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

Don’t Get Hacked!

From digital companies like Yahoo to health insurance giants like Anthem, today it seems as if no company, organization or entity is immune from hackers who steal the personal identifying information of unsuspecting customers, clients, patients, subscribers and donors.

In an effort to protect data and thwart hackers’ efforts, businesses, nonprofits and governments are investing billions of dollars in cyber security. Unfortunately, today’s hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated in the methods and technologies they employ to identify and exploit systematic vulnerabilities.

Credit Card Users Common Hacker Targets

According to a 2015 Gallup poll, the average American has three to four credit cards. In fact, increasingly only a dwindling subset of Americans pay with cash, with the majority choosing instead to rely on plastic for everything from buying a pack of gum at the gas station to paying for a trip to the Bahamas.

Today, many Americans don't think twice when handing over their credit card to a retailer or entering in their number to make an online purchase. However, recent reports of hacking and security breaches at several restaurants and hotels across the country serve as an important reminder of just how vulnerable credit card consumers are.

Hackers Take Aim At U.S. Health Care Institutions

From minor illnesses to major surgeries, for North Carolinians who are in need of medical care, their focus is on obtaining the diagnosises, treatment and after-care they need to recover and feel better. Today, however, health care consumers must also be vigilant about how their health care providers gather, store and protect their personal information.

While the increased use of technologies like Electronic Health Records has improved many aspects of health care, it has also opened hospitals and other health care institutions up to the very real dangers of cyber attacks.

Our Firm Is Assisting Volkswagen Owners

Around 11 million vehicles in the United States were affected by Volkswagen emissions software scheme that faked the output of carbon emissions from diesel cars.  Owners of these cars may be entitled to civil damages against VW. Our firm is assisting consumers with these claims. Please call our office at 888-316-3485/910-292-6676 for more information if you own one of the following vehicles:

NC Residents - Call To Action Re: Workers Comp For Truck Drivers

North Carolina residents are urged to call their state senators immediately and ask them to oppose HB 532.  This pending bill repeals existing state law under NC General Statute 97-19.1.  This bill would allow eliminate the requirement that these trucking companies cover their drivers under the company's workers compensation policy.

Bad Infection After Knee Or Hip Replacement Surgery?

If you suffered a serious infection following a knee or hip replacement, you may have a defective medical device claim.  The Law Office of Jean Sutton Martin PLLC is investigating claims of patients who developed MRSA, sepsis and other bad infections as a result of the use of a warming blanket during hip or knee replacement surgery.

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