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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


In the News: Target Credit Card Breach – What it Means for You

Jan 02

The recent Target credit card breach has taken a little merry out of this holiday season. According to Target, information including the card holder’s name, credit card number, security code and expiration date for 40 million customers was compromised. Now, impacted customers are asking valid questions about how they can protect themselves. Here are the top questions being asked, and how you should proceed if your credit card information might be at risk.


How can I protect myself?

If you used a debit or credit card at Target between November 27, 2013 and December 15, 2013, check the card’s account online and look for transactions that aren’t yours. If you find fraudulent transactions, contact the customer service number on the card immediately and take steps to contest the charges and get a new credit card issued.  

Even if everything is in order, you need to monitor that card’s activity very closely in the coming months. If you can access your statement online, checking several times a month isn’t too often in this case, and will help you identify fraudulent activity early and minimize the personal impact of the credit card breach.  You can also contact the customer service number on the back of the card and ask if they are putting any special alerts on the cards that are at risk.

Do I need to close my credit card?

Canceling the card and requesting a new one is another way to avoid credit fraud on that card. But it’s a step that comes with inconveniences, which could be magnified by the activity of the holidays. Make sure that any travel you have booked is not tied to the payment method, and keep in mind that it may be more difficult to make returns if the original payment method has been cancelled. Before you make the decision to cancel your card, call the customer service number on the card and ask the representative if your credit card company has any general recommendations for consumers impacted by the Target credit card breach.

While we recommend regular vigilance of your personal credit profile in normal circumstances, if your information has been compromised in a data breach, you’ll want to take extra care to make sure no one is using your credit without your knowledge. Regularly checking the activity of your personal financial accounts and checking your credit report are important personal protection steps. And, if you want someone to keep an eye out for you on your behalf, so that you’re not feeling vulnerable at the next, unanticipated data breach, enrolling in ProtectMyID offers a proactive, comprehensive solution, complete with Identity Theft resolution agents.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc.  © 2013, Inc.  All rights reserved.