Roanoke, VA (December 20, 2013) - The Better Business Bureau has some suggestions for Target customers who are concerned that their credit or debit cards may have been compromised by the data breach announced by the retailer.
“If you feel your debit or credit card information has been compromised by this data breach it is important to check your accounts as soon as possible,” says Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western VA. “Check your statements at once, don’t wait for the paper statement to come in the mail. Your banking institution can freeze your compromised debit card and issue you a new secure card.”
In a statement released on Thursday, Dec. 19th, Target said that criminals had stolen customer names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes for 40 million customers who had shopped at its stores. The breach at the nationwide retailer occurred from November 27 to Dec. 15. According to the company, online customers were not affected by the breach.
BBB suggests the following advice.
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 EVERYONE, not just those who shopped at Target:
• Beware of scammers who will likely use this highly public event to purport to be from Target, your bank or your credit card issuer, telling you that your card was compromised and suggesting actions to “fix” the problem.
• Check before you click. Phishing emails may attempt to fool you into providing your credit card information or ask you to click on a link or open an attachment, which can download malware designed to steal your identity.
• Don’t click on any email links or attachments unless you are absolutely certain the sender is authentic.
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. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/BBBWesternVA and on Facebook at facebook.com/BBBWesternVA