By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you shopped at any Home Depot at any time since April and paid with plastic, you could be a victim.

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Home Depot says the breach of its payment data systems happened in the spring; they didn’t spot it until this month. That’s potentially five months of unchecked criminal activity. Officials with the chain say they’re still investigating the scope of the breach; for comparison, the three-week-long hack of Target exposed 40 million credit and debit cards.

The chain already has set up identity theft protection services, including credit monitoring — available free to customers who shopped during the breach. More details are at:

In a statement, the company apologizes for the frustration and anxiety this causes. Officials say while you’re not responsible for any fraudulent charges to your accounts, it’s still important to check your online or paper statements for unusual activity.

Counterfeit credit cards believed to be from this attack, and forged with information from people in our area already are on the black market.

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