If you happily shopped Black Friday deals at Target and paid with your credit or debit card, you may be paying for it in the form of credit card theft. According the Wall Street Journal, as many as 40 million holiday shoppers are estimated to be hit by a credit and debit card security breach at the close to two thousand Target stores across the nation.
There is an extensive investigation underway to determine how a breach in the Target security system gave cyber criminals potential access to Target credit and debit card information. The information at risk includes name, card numbers, contact information, CVV codes and expiration dates. The threat that your financial information may have fallen into the wrong hands extends to both those who shopped online as well as in the actual brick and mortar stores.
Cyber criminals are said to have tapped into data stored on the magnetic strips on the back of credit and debit cards. As far as what information was accessed or whether or not anyone has suffered loss because of this breach is yet to be determined. The security breach is thought to have taken place between Thanksgiving, November 28, through Friday, December 6 or possibly even into December 15.
If you shopped at Target during this Christmas season, be sure to check your accounts for any suspicious activity. If you notice a purchase you did not authorize, contact your credit card company or bank immediately. It wouldn’t hurt to change any passwords and to be on the lookout for changes to your credit reports in the meantime.