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Target Hacking Scandal Worse Than You Think

Target revealed Friday that 70 million customers had their personal information hacked, proving that the data breach was significantly broader than the 40 million originally reported.

Target said personal data stolen, including names, phone numbers and email addresses, could affect its past shoppers, not just those that visited the store recently. 

Customers who shopped at Target in the weeks following Thanksgiving may have had debit and credit card information stolen as well. 

Customers will not be liable for the cost of fradulent charges, and Target is offering one year free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all customers who shopped in U.S. stores. 

Although the number one culprit is the hacker, businesses and organizations are responsible for the security of the confidential information of their clients. Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission sued Wyndham Worldwide Hotels for lax security, which allowed hackers to access the credit card and personal information of its over 600,000 clients. Similar lawsuits have also been filed against BJ's Wholesale Club, Microsoft and LinkedIn, among others. Most resulted in agreements to institute stricter security measures.

If you shopped at Target between NOv. 27 and Dec. 15, experts are suggesting you contact your card issuer and get a new card with a new account number. They also suggest changing your PIN number and monitoring your account carefully. 

Other tips include:

  • Sign up for fraud monitoring
  • Review any website that has your credit card information 
  • Make a call. Target has set up a phone line (866-852-8680) for customers who suspect unauthorized activity on their accounts. 

For more information, please contact us. 

Source: CNNMoney, "Target: Hacking hit 70 million customers," Jan. 10, 2014

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