Scam alert: Even if you weren’t one of the 70 million or more Target customers affected by the headline-making data breach, it’s a good reminder to protect yourself from identity theft. As ecoXplorer reported earlier, everybody – whether or not you are a Target customer – is entitled to one free credit report a year.
Target tells us that the credit card hacking problem is much worse than announced earlier. The number has virtually doubled, from 40 million customers affected to 70 million, and Target now tells us that – yes – personal information including addresses and phone numbers also was stolen.
Target has already promised that affected card holders will not be liable for any fraudulent charges on their cards, and Target is providing one year of free credit reporting to what they call “guests” who have suffered what they call a “data breach”.
Target has a website page explaining what affected customers should know, and even if you aren’t one of the 70 million affected card holders, there’s some good advise on the page for anybody who owns any credit card, including –
- check your credit card bills and bank statements for suspicious charges, or charges you don’t remember making
- beware of pop-up windows, which often are used for phishing
- don’t click on hyperlinks that arrive in suspicious emails or from senders you don’t know
- don’t share personal information on a website unless you know it is a secure, locked website; look for the letters https and a tiny lock icon
Check the ecoXplorer page Frauds and Scams page for more articles on how to avoid rip-offs.