Target Offering Free Fraud Monitoring

Target Offering Free Fraud Monitoring

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December 19, retail store Target announced 40 million debit and credit card accounts had been impacted after a data breach. Those affected are cards that were used at stores in the U.S. between November 27 and December 15. While the breach has been resolved, there are five things they want their customers to know. First, that customers will not be held liable for any charges on their cards that they did not make. They've also included an 866 number to call if you find out your account has been compromised. That number is 1-866-852-8680. They want to reassure folks that Target will never ask you for your PIN or Social Security Number, so beware of anyone asking for that information.

As compensation, Target is offering free fraud monitoring for those who were affected by the breach.

"And by participating in these fraud alert services, you'll get notice if there's been any activity on your account," says Scott Hehman with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Mobile.

Aside from selling your information on the black market, hackers can use your information to open new accounts. The fraud alert service will let you know if that happens as well. And finally, everyone is entitled to a free credit report by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. The website offers a free report once a year from all three credit reporting agencies.

"You can do something more extreme called a credit freeze if you've had some serious problems with accounts and things popping up on your credit report, but that is a paid for service with each of the credit reporting agencies," adds Hehman.

One thing to keep in mind is if you do sign up for their free fraud monitoring service, that service may only be for 90 days, after those 90 days you may be charged for the service, so make sure you ask them how long the service is for and also for a number you can call to cancel the service.

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