Victims of Target Corp.’s consumer data breach ought to sign up for the company’s sponsored free credit monitoring service, according to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, which has urged consumers to carefully monitor their credit- and debit-card statements for unauthorized activity.
“Colorado consumers should take extra care in light of this massive data breach to review bank and credit card statements, utility and other bills, to quickly spot any unauthorized charges, said Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Protection Jan Zavislan.
“One of the best ways for consumers to protect themselves is to monitor activity on their credit reports.”
At first, Target announced that a data breach had impacted about 40 million consumers who shopped at its U.S. retail stores, using a credit card or debit card between November 27 and December 15, 2013. Compromised data included customer name, credit or debit card number, the card’s expiration date, CVV information (although not the three digit CVV2 codes on the back of cards) and encrypted PIN numbers, according to a news release from the Colorado Attorney General.
Subsequently, Target confirmed that the names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and/or email addresses for up to 70 million of its customers were also compromised.
In addition, this breach may have affected people who provided such contact information to Target, even if they did not make purchases there during that time frame. Because contact information was compromised, consumers may become targets for phishing, telemarketing fraud and other types of scams.
Consumers should sign up for Target-sponsored free credit monitoring services at creditmonitoring.target.com by April 23, and review the company’s frequently asked questions to learn more.
Also, Target shoppers should be wary of unsolicited emails regarding their Target accounts. Many of these emails are phishing scams designed to steal even more personal and financial information.
People who have been victimized should follow guidelines in the Attorney General’s Identity Theft Repair Kit.