The buzz is all over the news: 40 Million Target customers who shopped at a brick and mortar Target store between November 27 and December 15th have had their credit card and debit card information stolen.
In an article on CNN Money, “The thieves reportedly gained access to data on the magnetic strips of shoppers’ cards, potentially allowing them to produce counterfeit versions, according to (security researcher, Brian) Krebs.”
USA Today reports, the security breach does not appear to affect online shoppers.
Target confirmed the breach in a press release this morning and have used Twitter to warn shoppers about the situation.
How Do You Protect Yourself & What Do You Do if You’re a Victim?
Credit Card/Debit Card security risks are everywhere. This is a good time to review how to protect yourself from credit card fraud and what to do if you’re a victim.
1. If you are part of this or any other security breach, notify your bank of the situation immediately and request a 90 day fraud alert with all three credit bureaus.
The type of information that was stolen in this breach gives thieves the potential to open credit cards and withdraw cash from your accounts at ATM machines, if they obtained pin numbers.
Report the to your bank soon as possible to limit any liability you have for fraudulent charges!
- The FTC limits the amount of liability you have for unauthorized charges on your credit card to $50 if you report it after charges have been made or $0 if you report it before charges are made.
- The amount you could be responsible for unauthorized debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals could vary from $0-everything stolen from you, depending on how long you take to report your card.
Follow these links to file fraud alerts with all three credit bureaus:
2. Be diligent about monitoring accounts and your credit reports and be alert to any changes.
Watch your bank accounts closely and review your statements for any fraudulent charges. Mint.com will allow you the ability to monitor individual transactions made on all of your accounts.
CreditKarma is also a great resource that offers free credit monitoring and notifications to any changes on your account.
Here are a couple of additional resources here on the FatWallet Blog
Dealing with identity theft is overwhelming, especially during this busy shopping season. Stay calm and take the above measures to protect yourself. Notify any friends and family of the Target Security Breach and share this information with them if they shopped at a brick and mortar Target store between 11/27/2013 and 12/15/2013.