What should you do if you shopped at Target between Nov 27 and Dec 15

Target credit card breach

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

18 thoughts on “What should you do if you shopped at Target between Nov 27 and Dec 15

  1. SCARY!!!
    I didn’t shop at Target between thees dates, but my parents for sure did!
    I hope that they checked on that.
    Thanks for notifying me!
    David

  2. I work as a Bank Manager by day, and would agree with this advice on debit cards:

    “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. Debit card holders don’t have the same protection as credit card holders. Contact your bank right away and request a new card.”

    The way our procedure works, we cancel the card, order you a new one, and provide a provisional credit within 7 to 10 days. After 40 days and when Visa is done investigating, it becomes a permanent reimbursement.

    There are at least 3 to 5 clients that come into our branch every week with fraudulent transaction on their debit card. I’ve heard that they clone the card with used gift cards… somehow able to add your accout info to the cards.

    Also heard account numbers and identities are sold on black markets in Asia. Look out!

  3. I’m hoping Target cancels all their current REDcards and re-issues new ones. Would make it easier, but definitely important to be pro-active.

  4. Thanks for the important info! I initially thought the dates were Nov. 27 until Dec. 5 and thought I was in the clear. But since it extends to Dec. 15 I’m NOT in the clear and will be calling my debit card company this AM!! Thanks for the help.

  5. We shopped at Target twice during that time and I am PISSED. I’ve been checking both cards non-stop and will most likely call to get new ones issued.

  6. I heard about this and now I’m worried because I go to Target on occasion, but I cannot recall if I shopped there during that time frame. I will do some research today, thanks.

  7. My wife bought some gifts at a Target store on December 9th and paid with a credit card. We have been in touch with the credit card company by calling the number on the back of the card, and they are sending new cards. The only real hassle for us is having to update a few accounts, such as Amazon.com to use the new card. Not really a big deal.

  8. I shopped at Target during this period. I’ve been keeping a real close eye on my activity ever since I heard the news.

  9. I shopped at Target on the 16th! Whew. I will keep a close eye on my card to make sure there are no suspicious charges.

  10. One of my friends got caught up in the Target fiasco and the thieves actually drained her bank account somehow via her debit card. It’s so sad that people are doing that this time of year!

  11. Target said something like 40 million cards were stolen. That is over 10% of the US population. It is nuts how big this thing is.

  12. That’s crazy how big this is. We’re so behind because overseas the credit cards uses a chip instead of swiping.

  13. I honestly think this is the future. More and more companies getting hacked. We need to be more vigilant than ever checking our statements.

  14. I will pass on to my wife. She may have shopped there. I didn’t know you could alerted each time a purchase is made. Useful.

  15. I actually shopped at Target 3 times the week this happened. I’ve been checking my credit card activity online since the news came out but I definitely feel safer that I used a credit card and not my debit card.

  16. What a big nasty mess! I always assume that my credit cards can be compromised so I’m one of those people who check my balances 2-3 times a week. I stay on top of any crazy charges!

  17. I believe we should regularly check our credit card or debit card regularly in order to find out if there is nasty things happened. Once you found out you must call immediately your credit card provider to block your card and request for a new card.

  18. Wow, that’s terrible – I shopped there, but in Canada, so I don’t think it applies to me. I didn’t know this was going on until I read your article.

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