In case you haven’t heard, Target’s been a victim of a massive credit-card hack involving 40 million accounts. The Secret Service is currently investigating. This was first reported by the security focused blog KrebsOnSecurity.com. This involves both credit and debit cards.
Who is affected?
This only affects shoppers who shopped at the Target store, not their online site.
When did this breach occur?
According to Target, anyone who shopped Target stores between Nov 27 and Dec 15 this year.
What should you do if you did shop at Target during this period?
If your account was compromised, Target and/or your bank will contact you. BUT, do not wait till you are contacted. Contact your card-issuer right away and ask for a new card and cancel your old card. Explain to them why and make sure you are not charged a card-replacement fee.
I shopped at Target, but I’m not sure which card I used!
If you are not sure which card you used, put alerts on all your cards. This is a good thing to do whether or not you shopped at Target. Most card-issuers will provide this service for free. If you go over a certain limit, you can be notified via email or text message regarding the transaction.
For instance, for my Amazon Chase card, I’ve set up alerts so that for every purchase, I’m notified via email regarding the transaction. Fastest way to catch fraudulent usage.
I used my debit card, am I affected?
Yes. You are at a greater risk since technically the hackers can withdraw money from your bank account through an ATM by cloning your card (although Target now claims that the PIN was not compromised). Debit card holders don’t have the same protection as credit card holders. Contact your bank right away and request a new card.
What information was compromised?
- Customer name
- Credit/Debit card number
- Expiration dates
- CVV1 code from the card’s magnetic strip
What information was NOT compromised?
- Your PIN
- Three digit(4 for Amex) security code from the back (front for Amex) of your card
How was the data stolen?
Investigators believe the hackers installed malware on the card readers to obtain the card information as the customers swiped their cards.
The number to call if you did shop at Target during this period: 866-852-8680.
UPDATE: Edited to clarify security code