Have You Used Your Credit Card At Target Recently?

Have You Used Your Credit Card At Target Recently?

Posted on January 6, 2014 by Amy in News

Target was the victim of a major credit card hacking at the end of 2013, at a time widely considered the busiest in the retail world.

A security breach occurred around Black Friday, with hackers accessing millions of accounts and credit card details between then and when the issue was discovered on December 15.

“At that time, we disabled the malicious code and immediately began notifying our card processors and the payment card networks,” Target says on its FAQ page about the breach.

The malware involved appears to have affected most Target stores in the US at a time considered one of the busiest in the retail world.

So if you have used a credit card, or even a debit card, for Target purchases in the last two months, it is important that you check your account for any unauthorized transactions.

“If you shopped at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, you should keep a close eye for any suspicious or unusual activity on any credit or debit card accounts that you used while shopping during that time,” Target advises.

CEO of the retail giant, Gregg Steinhafel adds that only some customers will be affected by the data breach.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

What To Do If You Used A Card At Target During The Security Breach

If you were one of the millions of people paying with plastic at a Target store in November and December, checking your account is definitely the first thing to do.

While information released so far suggests that purchases made on Target’s online store are not affected, the hacking is a reminder that it is also important to remember to check your credit card transactions not just once, but regularly.

There can be months between when a criminal gets credit card details and if or when they actually use the card for fraudulent charges, so making it a habit to look over your credit card statement will reduce the chance of issues from this hack or any other.

Any charges you think are suspicious should be reported to your credit card issuer as soon as possible. They will be able to help you figure out where the charges came from and reverse them if they are fraudulent.

Target has also worked with credit card processors and issuers to make them aware of the specific risks in this case, so your credit card provider could actually find issues before you (if you are affected).

While the reports so far suggest that PINs were not compromized, Target says if you are still concerned then you may want to change your PIN as a further precaution.

Another option is to request that your issuer cancel your credit card and issue a new one, although this process could take a lot longer with so many people potentially affected by this particular hacking.

Credit Card Issuer Support

Before going to extremes and panicking about potential fraud from the Target security breach, it could be worth checking your credit card issuer’s website or calling them to find out what steps are being taken.

Once credit card companies were informed of the issues, they were quick to take action and support the investigation as well as finding ways to reassure customers.

JPMorgan Chase, for example, said it would temporarily limit the amount of money that could be withdrawn from ATMs and spent in store to help keep potential fraud charges lower.

For Chase credit card customers whose accounts are at risk, that means ATM withdrawals of up to $100 a day and transaction limits of $300 a day until the risks are reduced.

Other credit card companies could automatically offer replacement cards to affected customers to make the details of the compromized cards redundant.

Credit card companies also have plans to roll out chip-and-PIN credit cards that have better encryptions and are thought to be more secure than the standard magnetic stripe options. The transition to these cards should be completed by 2015.

While it is hard to tell how many cases of fraud could come out of this major security breach, the response from Target and other relevant companies suggests anyone affected will at least have a fast resolution process.