If you used a debit card or a credit card at Target between November 27 and December 15, it is possible a hacker has gotten ahold of your card number. Here's what you should do about it:
CHECK FOR FRAUD
Monitor your card activity daily. Most cards allow account access by website or smartphone app, and some offer consumers the ability to set alerts. Regular checks of your activity are especially important for debit card holders, since debit cards are linked to your checking account and allow for immediate withdrawals.
QUESTION SMALL CHARGES
Hackers often begin stealing from you with lesser charges, maybe a few pennies or a few dollars from household names, hoping that you won't notice them. They'll later hit you for hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you see any charges you did not authorize, you should alert your card issuer.
REPORT UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES
It is imperative that you report any suspicious card activity immediately. First, contact your card-issuer, bank, or credit union. Explain what happened and that you believe your card number has been compromised. Credit card companies will generally issue provisional refunds; debit card issuers have varied policies but should commence an investigation right away.
Next, report the breach directly to Target by dialing 1-866-852-8680.
Although debit cards instantly deduct money from your checking account, it can take weeks or months to return that stolen cash. Make sure you keep records of the calls you make, the representatives you speak to, and the status of your claim. Be sure to note the date and time at each step. Hold on to paperwork and remain diligent in getting it resolved.
REQUEST A NEW NUMBER
When a breach has occurred, it is customary that card numbers are frozen and new ones are issued. But you don't have to wait for your card to be compromised to request a new number. If you want to proactively block hackers (especially if you have a debit card and want to protect your checking account), contact your bank's security department, explain your fraud concerns, and request a new card number.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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