Target announced today (article) that it was the victim of what may prove to be the largest data theft ever recorded. If you shopped at a Target in the last few weeks, your personal credit card or debit card (not just the Target-branded cards) may have been one of more than 40 million credit cards that were compromised. 40 million is also the population of California!
If you suspect you’re in that unfortunate group, you can check to see if there is any unusual activity on your account by going on line or calling customer service for your credit card. You can protest any fraudulent charges, and the credit card company will probably waive the charges after a brief investigation. Keep monitoring your account for the next month or so. If you’re suspicious and want to be extra cautious, ask your credit card company to freeze your account, and ask for a new card.
Identity theft has now affected one in 14 Americans, and losses from identity theft exceeded $47 billion in the last year, far more than all other property crimes combined.
Have you ever been affected? Send us an email with your story and we can post your experience, confidentially of course.