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What to Do if You're Among the Millions of Target Shoppers Between 11/27 & 12/15 at Risk

Up to 40 million Target shoppers in the last month may have had their credit card and debit card data compromised. Here are some things you can do if you're among them.

We shared Black Friday shopping guides and Holiday Gift Guides, so we figure we'd better share the bad news too:

Up to 40 million US shoppers at Target between Black Friday November 27th, 2013 and December 15th, 2013 may have had their credit card and debit card data compromised.

What Happened?

Target has confirmed this morning that "certain guests" (up to 40 million shoppers) have had their information compromised by a security breach.

According to Krebs on Security, almost all Target stores nationwide were included, and the data was taken from the magnetic strip processor used to read transactions off of credit and debit cards.

What to do if you shopped at Target between November 27th and December 15th

This isn't great news for most of us. It's a busy shopping season, and many of us have visited our local Target for household necessities and gift shopping over the last month.

If you are worried right now, you're in good company. Here are some tips that might help you discover your credit or debit card was compromised or 'stolen' electronically.

If you used a Credit Card at Target:
  • Keep a close eye on your Credit Card statement. If you have online statements available, check weekly and be on the lookout for anything you didn't charge, especially small transactions. Credit card thieves sometimes make small transactions first to see if you notice before moving on to bigger purchases.
  • Contact your issuing company. Let them know that your card was used at a Target between the designated times so they have a record of the incident.
  • Check your credit report. Your credit report is in part determined by the number of inquiries on your credit, the type made when you apply for a loan or a new line of credit. If your score drops unexpectedly due to increased credit inquiries, you want to look into where those inquiries were made to ensure they were all your doing. While accessing your credit score costs money, everyone is entitled to one free copy of their credit report per year.
If you used a Debit Card at Target:
  • Watch for unusual charges to the account associated with your debit card. Check your online statement weekly, if you have access.
  • Be on the lookout for cash withdrawals from ATM's that you didn't make.
  • Cancel or transfer: If you're really worried, you may wish to cancel the debit card or transfer your funds to a new account, leaving only a minimum quantity accessible.

Here's hoping the thieves are caught before significant damage is done. If you'll excuse me, I'll be calling my bank now.

Published Dec. 19th 2013
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    My brother is freaked out about this Russian worm.

    Personally, I'm reaching a point where my mattress is looking awfully attractive as an old-school safe.

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