12 OYS: Target customers targeted by security breach, targets for scammers

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 5 o'clock / Dec. 20, 2013


Randall Burrell could be among the tens of millions of target shoppers to have their credit card information stolen by some very sophisticated hackers.

Computer experts say it all began Thanksgiving weekend. "I've had good shopping experiences here. I use their little 5 percent discount card and stuff and so yeah I enjoy it, "says Burrell. He has used his credit card at Target to purchase Christmas gifts.

While Burrell may not be too concerned, many are worried about what could happen to their personal information. The big box giant issued this statement on its corporate website:

"We are partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident."

Meanwhile, GiGi Turner with Augusta's Better Business Bureau says Target customers should carefully monitor their accounts.

"What they need to do is keep checking their credit card statements. I would recommend not waiting for it to come in the mail but go online and look at your statements," says Turner.

She says if you suspect any unusual activity on your account you should report it to your bank immediately. While your personal information may not have been compromised by the hacker attack, Turner says you could still be targeted by scammers preying on your sense of insecurity.

"By trying to make consumers think through malware and phishing that they are receiving an email from there bank letting them know they have been a victim of the Target scam," says Turner. By trying to get you to verify your banking information online.

While Target says it is working to ensure this kind of tech attack never happens again, Burrell says it won't change his way of shopping. "I'm a person of faith and one of the things is that things are going to happen," says Burrell.

The BBB recommends going online every few days and checking your statements.

Meanwhile consumer experts say it is actually better to use a credit card when making transactions because there is more protection with a credit card and its easier to dispute a fraudulent charge.

“Yesterday we shared that there was unauthorized access to payment card data at our U.S. stores. The issue has been identified and eliminated. We recognize this has been confusing and disruptive during an already busy holiday season. Our guests’ trust is our top priority at Target and we are committed to making this right.

We want our guests to understand that just because they shopped at Target during the impacted time frame, it doesn’t mean they are victims of fraud. In fact, in other similar situations, there are typically low levels of actual fraud. Most importantly, we want to reassure guests that they will not be held financially responsible for any credit and debit card fraud. And to provide guests with extra assurance, we will be offering free credit monitoring services. We will be in touch with those impacted by this issue soon on how and where to access the service.

We understand it’s been difficult for some guests to reach us via our website and call center. We apologize and want you to understand that we are experiencing unprecedented call volume. Our Target teams are working continuously to build capacity and meet our guests’ needs.

We take this crime seriously. It was a crime against Target, our team members, and most importantly, our guests. We’re in this together, and in that spirit, we are extending a 10% discount – the same amount our team members receive – to guests who shop in U.S. stores on Dec. 21 and 22. Again, we recognize this issue has been confusing and disruptive during an already busy holiday season. We want to emphasize that the issue has been addressed and let guests know they can shop with confidence at their local Target stores.”

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