Make us your home page
Instagram

What to do if you think your credit or debit card info might have been breached at Target

Target announced this morning that information on millions of credit and debit card accounts may have been leaked in a data breach that happened just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear.

The chain said accounts of customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at terminals in its U.S. stores from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15 may have been exposed. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the cards' backs.

The breach affected all cards, including Target store brand cards and major card brands such as Visa and MasterCard.

If you've shopped at Target this holiday season, here are some things you can do to find out if your credit or debit card was affected by the security breach:

• You should always check your credit card and bank account statement for suspicious or unauthorized purchases. But you shouldn't wait for your next statement. Get to know your bank's website, where records of transactions will be updated daily. If that's not an option, call the number on the back of your credit card to find out the most recent transactions. Don't just look for large charges. Hackers often charge a few cents to find out if an account is usable.

• If you do find fraudulent charges on your account, call your credit card company or bank. The good news is in most cases you aren't on the hook for them. Credit card companies are often able to flag the charges before they go through and shut down your card. If that doesn't happen, the card issuer will generally strip charges you claim are fraudulent off your card immediately.

• Target has set up a toll-free line to field calls relating to the breach: 1-866-852-8680. Keep in mind it might be busy. Target customers have indicated that they have had difficulty accessing their accounts on the company's website Thursday.

• To avoid future problems, sign up for fraud monitoring services. Credit card companies typically offer them for free.

• Your bank likely offers email and text message alerts that you can set up on their website so they can notify you every time there's an Internet purchase, international purchase or a charge over a certain amount. Some financial institutions will also alert you when your balance reaches a certain limit. Visit your bank's site and see what you need to do to receive these alerts.

• Replace your credit card and change your PIN, if your account has been compromised.

• Contact the Federal Trade Commission or local law enforcement to report incidents of identity theft or to learn about protecting yourself from identity theft. Go to consumer.gov/idtheft, or call the FTC toll-free at 1-877-438-4338 — or write to Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20580.

Associated Press

What to do if you think your credit or debit card info might have been breached at Target 12/19/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.