The Target Corporation confirmed December 19, 2013, that its customers had been the victims of unauthorized access to their credit and debit card information during 19 days of the holiday-shopping season. The unauthorized access to payment card data occurred in the retailer’s physical stores in the United States, not online, November 27 through December 15, 2013. Federal authorities are investigating.
Target has determined that the information involved in the breach included customer names, payment card numbers, card expiration dates and three-digit security codes, and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). The data breach affects all major credit card brands and Target’s private label card.
Zero liability protection offered by card companies protects cardholders from fraudulent charges made with a stolen card or card information.
What American Federal Is Doing
American Federal re-issued, at no cost to the customer, the American Federal-issued VISA debit cards identified as being among the cards exposed to potential fraud in the breach of payment card data at Target.
Additionally, American Federal is urging debit cardholders to change their card PINs and to consider lower daily purchase and cash withdrawal limits on their cards to lessen loss should a card ever be compromised.
Protect Your Accounts From Potential Fraud
Take the following actions to protect against potential misuse of credit and debit card information:
- Remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by regularly reviewing your retail, credit card and bank account statements. With American Federal Online Banking, you can monitor your bank transactions 24/7.
- Whether you are checking a paper or an online statement, look for large purchases in cities where you have never been and on websites you have never visited. Look for tiny amounts, too, since thieves will sometimes “ping” an account for only a few cents to verify an open status and then progress to much larger fraud in the account.
- Periodically obtain free credit reports. You can request one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the following three nationwide credit reporting agencies:
- Equifax: 800-525-6285 www.equifax.com
- Experian: 888-397-3742 www.experian.com
- TransUnion: 800-680-7289 www.transunion.com
- Obtain information from the credit reporting agencies and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about fraud alerts and security freezes. You can add a fraud alert on your credit report file to help protect your credit information.
- If you discover suspicious or unusual activity on your bank accounts or suspect fraud, contact your American Federal Banker immediately.
- Employ a healthy dose of skepticism when you use cards to make purchases or shop online. Contact your payment card company and retailer if you believe a transaction on your statement is not legitimate.
- You may also want to contact the FTC or local law enforcement to report incidents of identity theft and to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself from identify theft.
- FTC: 877-438-4338 www.consumer.gov/idtheft