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Popular retailer Target has just confirmed that a hack could have compromised the credit card information for up to 40 million customers that have shopped in its US stores between November 27th and December 15th of 2013.

Target has also confirmed that the information stolen includes everything the thieves would need to be able to make fraudulent purchases with the credit card. That means that the customer name, credit or debit card number, the expiration date, and the CVV (the number on the back of the card used for verification purposes) has all been taken. This is notable in that many breaches only let out some of the information, keeping shoppers relatively safe, but in this case, the thieves have everything but the physical card itself.

As one might expect, an investigation is underway, and Target says it is working with “a leading” forensics firm to figure out the cause of the issue. It is also working with the firm to determine the best methods of preventing another massive security breach like this from occurring again.

CreditCardTheft

The hole has been fixed, so any purchases made at Target after December 15th are safe. However, with the massive amount of shopping that takes place between the November 27th and December 15th, that is only a small consolation. It’s also worth noting that this only causes a problem for US-based Target stores. Those in Canada and the online portion of the retailer are safe.

As for what you can do if you shopped there between those dates, your options are pretty slim. The best course of action is to simply monitor your credit and debit card statements closely for any fraudulent charges, and should one pop up, notify your financial institution immediately to make sure it is resolved.

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Source: SlashGear | Image credit: Shutterstock Internet Theft

  1. TxBlackLabel
    December 20, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I'm with Nick C on this, get a prepaid card and put what you think you'll need for a trip or shopping. You'll be surprised at how many people eat out and just trust the wait staff with their card. A quick use of a smart phone to take a picture front and back of your card and emailed to their low life buddy and they get $300-$1k wired to them before your receipt and card is handed back to you. Grab your bill and take it to be paid while you are standing there. Also pick a date and have your debit card replaced every 6-12 months by your financial institute, takes most places just minutes.

  2. ReadandShare
    December 20, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Kind of ironic that online purchases were safe but in-store ones were not!

    As for monitoring your card for any suspicious activities... most bank websites allow their customers to set up "alerts" -- so the bank will shoot out an email upon any credit card activity -- or activities above a certain threshold (users can set their own thresholds).

    It's also just a good idea to have "alerts" set up as a matter of course. -- so anything suspicious at all, you can know within minutes -- and don't have to spot check the bank website on your own or wait for your monthly statement to find out.

  3. Nick C
    December 20, 2013 at 1:28 am

    This is why Prepaid debit cards should be used when going out shopping.

    • dragonmouth
      December 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      I hate to burst your bubble but credit and DEBIT card information was compromised. So, unless you had only a minimal amount left on your debit card, you sustained a hefty loss.

      Looks like good ol' cash or a personal check are still the safest.

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