During the months of November and December 2013 as many as 70 million customers of Target were affected by a data breach in which their information on their credit and debit cards, names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and pin numbers were stolen. Illinois Atty. Gen. Madigan encouraged consumers to protect their bank and credit card accounts by taking the following steps:
- cancel out your debit or credit card that might have been affected and obtain new cards,
- contact your bank to change your debit card pin number and passwords,
- check your billing statements every month, bank and credit card companies should be notified immediately if you find any unauthorized charges; to this over the phone and in writing,
- set up alerts on your accounts to be notified of any use over and above a certain dollar figure,
- take caution to avoid scams, beware of any callers claiming to be your credit card company or bank,
- call the toll-free number on the back of your cards before you disclose any personal information.
Target continues its investigation on the matter and has offered customers an one-year sign up for free credit monitoring that includes identity theft insurance, Target consumers are encouraged to register before April 23, 2014. Any questions considering the breach can be found here, consumers are encouraged to check back for updates.
Since the breach Target has announced that they will invest $5 million in a multi-year campaign to educate the public about cyber-security and the dangers of phishing scams. They also announced their plans to close eight of their 1,797 U.S. stores on May 3, 2014 due to their financial performance. The stories affected, at the time of this announcement, included:
- West Dundee, Ill.;
- Las Vegas, Nev.;
- North Las Vegas, Nev.;
- Duluth, GA;
- Memphis, Tenn.;
- Orange Park, Fla.;
- Middletown, Ohio; and
- Trotwood, Ohio.
Eligible team members at these stores will be offered an opportunity to transfer to a similar position at a nearby Target location.