Whooa! The South Korean newspapers say 82 million cardholders affected?? That much?!
(My Lotte Card and some snack)
This must be the biggest data leak or theft so far. Over the years, there are a couple of news about the users' personal information being stolen from a portal site or from a government site. But this one, from the news that exploded last Friday, where the CEOs of these companies had to resign due to this electronic blunder, has got millions angry.
The personal information of some 20 million customers of NH Nonghyup, KB Kookmin and Lotte Card (with some customers holding multiple cards in the same institution) must be now somewhere stored, copied or being used by some notorious people somewhere in the world, trying to make some financial gain out of this stolen information.
South Korea is a very wired society, where everyday transactions are cash-less. Everyone gives up his or her personal information to a merchant for economic transactions in return for convenient service.
But I guess, this leak or theft of personal information is a price to pay. Identity theft, unauthorized withdrawals from a bank account or using someone's credit card may be just some ways to use all those personal data. No wonder, more than a million very pissed cardholders have applied to cancel or reissue their cards yesterday.
I am a Lotte Card member, and I would want to reissue my card, too. But according to the newswire, the queue is seven hours long if you're physically there at the Lotte customer service lounge. It could be worse if you did it on the phone.
I use my Lotte Card to accumulate points when I buy mandu or red bean bread from the Lotte food court in Myeong-dong. I am not sure if the people who stole my information (if in case my personal info was a part of the leak) would want my mileage points from buying snacks. I may have to have it reissued soon.
But if you have credit cards or bank accounts from these institutions, I suggest you immediately cancel, or reissue, or switch to another bank just so you have some peace of mind.
Who knows? Someone must be shopping online by now using your credit card. Good luck!