Target Retail Chain Says Millions of Customers’ Info Breached in Hack Attack, Identity Theft is Possible
Target confirms reports that 40 million credit and debit cards may be affected after a massive hack attack and customers are warned that they may be victims of identity theft.
The hack attack affected customers who shopped at Target during the peak of holiday shopping, between November 27th and December 15th. According to the retail chain, identity theft could become a problem for the chain’s customers because a huge amount of personal information was stolen, including customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards.
Target did say that the hack attack did not affect online purchases.
The Minneapolis-based company said that it reported the breach to authorities and financial institutions as soon as it noticed the problem. The company is working with third-party forensics teams to prevent future hack attacks.
“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause,” Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement Thursday. “We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”
Several other retail stores have been hit with hack attacks recently. TJX Cos, which runs TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, suffered a breach that began in 2005, and exposed at least 45.7 million customers to potential identity theft and fraud. Unfortunately, the breach was not detected until 2006.
Target said those who suspect their accounts were impacted by the breach should call 866-852-8680, and also contact their banks and credit card companies. Cases of identity theft can also be reported to law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission.
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