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Tips for Target customers
Experts give advice on protecting info
Article published on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi urges Floridians to be vigilant in monitoring their financial activity in light of the latest security breach at Target stores nationwide.

Those who swiped debit or credit cards at Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 should be especially cautious, Bondi said in a press release.

Target confirmed the security breach in a statement released Dec. 19.

“We began investigating the incident as soon as we learned of it,” according to a statement posted at Target.com. “We have determined that the information involved in this incident included customer name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and CVV.”

Target said it was working with “a leading third-party forensics firm” to investigate the incident and examine additional measures to help prevent incidents in the future.

Target informed the public that it had alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after the unauthorized access was confirmed.

“We are putting our full resources behind these efforts,” Target said in its statement.

Target recommends that consumers closely review account statements and take advantage of free credit reports. Consumers who discover any suspicious or unusual activity on their accounts or suspect fraud should report it immediately to their financial institutions.

Better Business Bureau also offered some advice for Target customers.

“First of all, if you used a credit card at Target in the past few weeks, don’t panic,” said Carrie Hurt, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “You are not liable for any fraudulent charges on your account, and there are some simple things you can do to make sure your card was not used fraudulently.”

“Target has already issued a warning for consumers and is working with banks and credit card issuers to alert them to which numbers were stolen,” Hurt added. “You can expect to hear from your bank if your card information is identified as having been compromised, and you can always call the customer service number on your card if you have a question.”

Bondi and BBB offer the following tips to help keep financial information safe.

• Closely monitor credit and banking activity to identify any potential unauthorized transactions. If such transactions are found, contact your financial institution immediately.

• Keep all receipts so you can cross-reference them with your credit and banking statements.

• To place a fraud alert or check a credit report, call one of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, 1-800-525-6285; Experian, 1-888-397-3742; or Transunion, 1-800-680-7289.

• If you suspect you are the victim of identity theft, call your local law enforcement agency.

For more information about identity theft, visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).

Target customers with concerns about the security breach can call 866-852-8680.Customers who used a non-Target credit or debit card at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 with questions or concerns should contact the issuing bank by calling the number on the back of the card.
Article published on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
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