You know, most of the time, these "stolen SS
# and data stories" never amount to anything. In my line of work, I have extensive meetings with people in the know of the banking industry. This story is real, and the banks have seen numerous customers get scammed on this. Most of the illegal transactions are happening overseas, much of them being from the China area. And it's not being done in little amounts hoping to find people that aren't checking their accounts normally. They are cleaning them out dry. It has been a severe headache for the banks, and I hope that the retailers somehow repay the banks for their troubles and efforts to right THEIR wrong.
This is not good. My wife's cards have already been automatically replaced. Let's hope if your bank you use happens to do the same for you.
This is a serious matter and if you or your wife shopped at any of those stores I'd stop reading this and go get new cards NOW.