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In the wake of Target data breach, credit protection advice offered

On Dec. 28, shoppers approach Target department store in Aviation Mall, Queensbury. Nationally, Target suffered a breach of customers' credit card information that was the second largest in history. Those customers who used any credit or debit cards at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 have their credit information at risk of being stolen and misused. See article that details appropriate actions that can be taken to minimize problems.

On Dec. 28, shoppers approach Target department store in Aviation Mall, Queensbury. Nationally, Target suffered a breach of customers' credit card information that was the second largest in history. Those customers who used any credit or debit cards at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 have their credit information at risk of being stolen and misused. See article that details appropriate actions that can be taken to minimize problems. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The Better Business Bureau of upstate New York offered advice this week for Target customers concerned that their credit or debit cards may have been compromised by the retailer’s recent data breach.

Warren Clark, president of the agency, said this week that Target customers will not be liable for any fraudulent charges on their account, and some simple actions can make sure their cards are protected from crime.

Target is working with banks and credit card issuers to alert them to which numbers were stolen, he said. The cardholders that may have had their card data — including security codes — exposed to criminals were those bank cards and credit cards used in Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

“You can expect to hear from your bank if your card information is identified as having been compromised,” he said, noting that customers should call the customer service phone number on their card if they have questions.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice for those who shopped at Target with a credit or debit card during the dates in question:

• Monitor your credit card statements carefully — scrutinize online; don’t wait for a paper statement.

• Sign up for the free credit monitoring service that Target announced to protect potential victims of the data breach.

• If you see a fraudulent charge, report it to your bank or credit card issuer immediately so the charge can be reversed and a new card issued.

• Keep receipts in case you need to prove which charges you authorized and which ones you did not.

For those who shopped at Target with a debit card:

• Do all of the above, but also scrutinize your account, as debit cards do not have the same protections as credit cards and debit transactions withdraw funds directly from your bank account. Contact your bank for more information, or if you want to pre-emptively request a new debit card or put a security block on your account.

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