AG Masto cautions consumers to watch Target charges, debits
The Nevada attorney general is cautioning consumers to monitor their credit/debit card statements for unauthorized transactions as Target recently announced “unauthorized intrusion” in their systems.
“Nevadans need to be vigilant and monitor their credit and debit card statements closely, especially Target shoppers who visited the store this holiday season,” said Catherine Cortez Masto.
Masto has been in contact with legal counsel for Target to review the circumstances of the breach and the steps the company is taking to address it.
According to a Target statement, credit and debit card information for approximately 40 million consumers may have been compromised between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Target has determined that the breach involves credit card and debit card information for purchases at its US retail stores only; online purchases were not affected. Target reports that the compromised credit and debit card information included customer name, credit or debit card number, the card’s expiration date and CVV information. However, Target also indicates that the three digit CVV2 codes on the back of cards were not affected, as well as PIN numbers for debit cards.
If you shopped at a Target retail store between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 using a credit or debit card:
Regularly monitor statements for that credit or debit card for unauthorized activity (you do not have to wait to receive your monthly statements).
Be wary of calls or email “phishing” scams related to the breach that may appear to offer protection but are really trying to get personal information form you such as your social security number. For instance, do not click on links within such emails; instead go directly to the web site you would like to visit.
You may also want to obtain a copy of your credit report and look for unauthorized activity in that report as well. Under federal law, consumers are entitled to receive one free credit report from each credit reporting agency every year. To obtain a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion), visit http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228. It is always a good idea to regularly check your credit reports, whether or not you suspect possible fraud.
As a precautionary measure, consider placing a free fraud alert on your credit report by calling one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Call Equifax at 800-525-6285, Experian at 888-397-3742, or TransUnion at 800-680-7289. You only need to call one of these agencies. A fraud alert remains on your credit file for 90 days. The fraud alert requires creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or increasing credit limits on existing accounts. When you place a fraud alert, all three credit reporting agencies are required to send you a credit report free of charge.
If you want a new account number for your credit or debit card, you may wish to request that from the financial institution that issued your card. Call the number on the back of your card (Target REDcard holders should call Target at 866-852-8680).
If you shopped at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 using a credit or debit card and note unauthorized activity, immediately contact the financial institution that issued your credit or debit card. The phone number is located on the back of your credit or debit card (Target Red Card holders should call Target at 866-852-8680).
Notifying your financial institution helps ensure you will not be responsible for any fraudulent charges. The fraud departments at these companies also monitor your account for suspicious activity, and may be in contact with you as well.
According to Target, consumers impacted by this security breach will be offered free credit monitoring services. To learn more about this and find the latest information on commonly asked questions about the data breach, click here.