January 15, 2014 - Target is now offering its shoppers free credit monitoring and identity theft protection in the wake of the massive data breach announced in December. Your BBB suggests that Target shoppers who may have been impacted by the breach take advantage of this service to better monitor credit lines.
Names, phone numbers, mailing addresses and email addresses of up to 70 million Target shoppers were compromised along with debit and credit card information of 40 million people in the hack. The stolen information can expose a consumer to credit card fraud, possible identity theft and can drain bank accounts.
ProtectMyID, the complimentary service offered through Experian, is available to all guests who shopped at Target’s U.S. stores and includes access to your credit report, daily credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and personalized assistance. Shoppers have until April 23, 2014 to sign up for an activation code to ProtectMyID. Once the activation code is received via email, it must be used by April 30, 2014.
Target advises consumers who do sign up for free credit monitoring to continue to review their accounts and report unusual or suspicious activity to their bank or call Target’s hotline (866-852-8680) for help. Shoppers have zero liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges related to the breach.
Consumers should also be on the lookout for fraudulent emails, letters and phone calls from criminals posing as Target or their bank, requesting personal information. Delete any suspicious emails and never download any attachments from unknown senders. Always hang up the phone if a call seems suspicious.
Your BBB has also joined a national cyber security initiative along with Target, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance to help educate the public about consumer scams and the threat of phishing in the wake of the data breach.
For more information about the free credit monitoring program, visit Target’s FAQ website or sign up for the program here.