More Information Taken in Target Hack Attack, Identity Theft Could be a Problem
In December 2013, Target announced that a hack attack had breached the payment card information of 40 million Target customers, and could lead to stolen bank information and possible identity theft.
Now, the large retailer says that as many as 70 million customers could have had their information stolen in the hack attack, and that information could include names, mailing and email addresses, and phone numbers – raising the risk of identity theft.
“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Target, said in a statement. “I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team.”
Hackers quickly took personal information from Target shoppers – fraud industry experts noticed a “ten-to-twentyfold increase” in high-value cards for sale in online card selling markets.
Target announced on Friday, January 10th, that affected customers will not suffer liability for any fraudulent charges to their cards related to the hack attacks. The company has agreed to offer one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.
Target also reiterated that affected customers were in-store shoppers only, and no online shoppers were affected by the hack attack.
“In light of the recent data breach, our top priority is taking care of our guests and helping them feel confident in shopping at Target,” John Mulligan, the chief financial officer, said in a statement. “At the same time, we remain keenly focused on driving profitable top-line growth and investing our resources to deliver superior financial results over time.”
Is Your Identity Protected?
Identity theft has become the fastest growing crimes in the United States.
According to statistics from federal officials, one in every twenty Americans will fall victim to this crime. The only way to prevent this from happening is by reducing the risk that such a crime will affect you. Identity theft can ruin your name and your credit through erroneous charges and purchases, and even through the obtainment of loans that you neither applied for nor received funds from.
If you think that you have been a victim of identity theft, you should:
- File a police report immediately. This is important as this is evidence to be presented to creditors to claim your rights as a victim of identity theft.
- Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission as this informs law enforcement officials throughout the United States of the pending investigation.
- Register Fraud Alert on your credit reports. This can inform credit reporting services of anomalous activity on your credit for ninety (90) days.
Identity Theft Through Hack Attacks Can Hurt Your Future
If you have experienced identity theft, whether from a hack attack or robbery, you are not alone. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help clear your name and even reinstate your social security benefits. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800