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Target Breach Information

Consumer Tips on Target Data Breach

Update - January 16, 2014

Neiman Marcus just posted on its website information about a breach in Neiman Marcus stores involving credit and debit cards. Based on Neiman Marcus’s information, the tips in our Target “Update” below may help if you think this breach may have affected you.

Neiman Marcus FAQs: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/NM/Security-Info/cat49570732/c.cat?icid=topPromo_hmpg_ticker_SecurityInfo_0114

Update - January 10, 2014

Target today revealed that additional customer information - name, mailing address, email address or phone number - was involved in the recent data breach.

The Attorney General warns consumers that criminals may use this kind of personally identifying information to obtain even more information, like your Social Security number, from you. The Attorney General urges you to never give out personal information to anyone unless you initiated the contact.

In addition: As always, be wary of phony web sites. Many new websites with “target” in the name such as “targetcreditfix.com” and “targetsecuritybreach.com” have been registered following the announcement of the initial Target breach that may be trying get your personally identifying information. These scam sites may promise “Target gift cards” and other gifts as compensation for the breach.

Target’s FAQs on the breach: https://corporate.target.com/about/shopping-experience/payment-card-issue-FAQ

Target’s information on credit monitoring and other breach issues: http://www.target.com/databreach

Update - December 23, 2013

Scam emails and websites purporting to help consumers with Target breach issues have appeared over the weekend.

The Attorney General advises consumers to be aware of suspicious emails and websites offering “help” with Target breach problems. In addition, be aware of phone calls offering assistance. Remember to always initiate the call yourself—contact your credit or debit card company at the toll-free number on the back of your card before disclosing any personal information.

If you used a credit or debit card at a Target store between November 27 and December 15, 2013, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the possibility of identity theft related to the breach.

  1. Monitor your credit card account for suspicious transactions and report them to the card issuer.
  2. If you used a debit card, monitor the account online. Report any unauthorized transactions to your bank promptly to avoid liability.
  3. The best way to protect yourself if you used a debit card is to cancel and replace the card.

Credit cards have stronger consumer protections in the case of a data breach. Federal law provides a $50 liability limit for unauthorized use, and you don’t have to pay while you dispute the suspicious charges.

Debit cards are subject to a different federal law. Consumers are usually not liable for unauthorized debit card transactions, but because the card is connected to your bank account you may not have access to the stolen money until after your bank has completed an investigation. The amount for which you are liable depends on how soon you report the transaction after the incident and after it appears in your bank statement.

For identity theft protection tips, see the Attorney General’s web site at www.oag.ca.gov/idtheft/information-sheets.

Information from Target regarding the breach is available on the company’s website.

Credit or Debit?

Credit Card Debit Card
Truth in Lending Act Electronic Funds Transfer Act
  • $50 liability limit for unauthorized use
  • Liability for unauthorized use depends on timing:
    • $50 limit when reported within 2 days
    • Up to $500 for reporting in 3 to 59 days
    • No limit when reporting more than 60 days from bank statement
  • Consumer doesn’t pay the charge while disputing the transaction.
  • Consumer does not have the stolen money until the bank has resolved the dispute.

State & Federal Laws

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