Roanoke, VA (January 10, 2013) – Target announced Friday that 70 million to 110 million customers had their personal information stolen during the holiday season. On December 19th Target had originally stated that 40 million in-store customers had names, credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes stolen between Nov. 27 and mid-December. Now the retailer has announced that hackers stole mailing and email addresses, names, and phone numbers of customers as well. This stolen information is not limited to just in-store shoppers, or those who shopped during the holiday season.
BBB has some suggestions for Target customers who are concerned that their personal information may have been compromised by the updated data breach numbers announced by the retailer.
“Check your accounts as soon as possible,” says Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western VA. “Check your banking and credit card statements at once, don’t wait for the paper statement to come in the mail. If you suspect your information may be compromised, reach out to your bank now.”
BBB suggests the following advice.
Be on the lookout for scammers pretending to be Target or your banking institution. Prepare to get fake phone calls, emails and letters in the mail. They may ask for your personal information and direct you to click on links. The correspondence may look official, but do not respond. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank stating you've been affected by the Target hack, hang up. Then call the bank number on your credit card to confirm if you are actually a victim. If you receive an email claiming to be from Target, do not reply back. Instead go to Target.com/databreach. You can also contact Target’s victim hotline at 866-852-8680.
Review any website that keeps your credit card: Criminals who now have customers’ email and phone numbers may attempt to pose as you on other websites. If a website has saved your credit or debit card information for future purchases, consider erasing that information and entering manually for each future payment.
Sign up for fraud monitoring: In the next three months, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to anyone who has shopped in their U.S. stores.
For those who shopped at Target with a credit card:
• Monitor your credit card statements carefully (go online; don’t wait for the paper statement).
• If you see a fraudulent charge, report it to your bank or credit card issuer immediately so the charge can be reversed and a new card issued.
• Keep receipts in case you need to prove which charges you authorized and which ones you did not.
For those who shopped at Target with a debit card:
• Do all of the above as for credit cards, but pay very careful attention to your account, as debit cards do not have the same protections as credit cards and debit transactions withdraw funds directly from your bank account. Contact your bank for more information, or if you want to preemptively request a new debit card or put a security block on your account.
• Contact your bank and request a new debit card. Many financial institutions can issue a new debit card without having to open a new account. The bank will put a freeze on your old card halting any fraudulent transactions.
For all businesses that collect customer information:
• Make sure you protect your customers’ data. If a data breach can happen to a major retailer with significant data security measures in place, it can happen to any business.
• Check out BBB’s updated online guide Data Security – Made Simpler for free information on how to create a data security plan.
The BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution service, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.
If you need more information, contact the BBB at (540) 342-3455 or (800) 533-5501. You can also visit www.bbb.org. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/BBBWesternVA and on Facebook at facebook.com/BBBWesternVA