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Identity Theft Is The Goal Of Most Data Breaches
Most everyone is aware of the unauthorized access to the Target Store's payment data center. BBB advises that scammers will likely take advantage of this highly public event and purport to be from Target, your bank, or your credit card issuer, telling you that your card was compromised and suggesting actions to “fix” the problem.
CHECK before you click, Phishing emails may attempt to fool you in to providing your credit card information or ask you to click on a link or open an attachment, which can download malware designed to steal your identity.
DON’T CLICK EMAIL LINKS or attachments unless you are absolutely certain the sender is authentic.
CONSUMERS LISTEN UP!
IDENTITY THEFT IS THE GOAL OF ALL DATA BREACHES
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has a sobering new report finding identity theft cost Americans $10 billion more last year than all other property crimes measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey.
While identity theft cost Americans $24.7 billion in 2012, losses for household burglary, motor vehicle theft, and property theft totaled just $14 billion.
- Someone whose information is revealed as part of an online data breach becomes 9.5 times more likely to have their identity stolen
- 85% of id theft incidents involved the fraudulent use of existing accounts, rather than the use of somebodys name to open a new account
- In recent years id thieves have begun targeting smartphone users and people who use social media
BBB has some suggestions for Target customers who are concerned that their credit or debit cards may have been compromised by the data breach announced December 19:
- “First of all, if you used a credit card at Target in the past few weeks, don’t panic, you are not liable for any fraudulent charges on your account, and there are some simple things you can do to make sure your card was not used fraudulently.
- Target has already issued a warning for consumers and is working with banks and credit card issuers to alert them to which numbers were stolen
- You can expect to hear from your bank if your card information is identified as having been compromised, and you can always call the customer service number on your card if you have a question.
BBB suggests the following advice.
For those who shopped at Target with a credit card:
- Monitor your credit card statements carefully (go online; don’t wait for the paper statement).
- 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.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report with all three credit reporting agencies,
Equifax: 800-685-1111 (general) or 800-525-6285 (fraud); P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374; www.equifax.com
Experian: 888-397-3742 (general and fraud); PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, www.experian.com.
TransUnion: 800-888-4213 (general) or 800-680-7289 (fraud); P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022; www.transunion.com.
For those who shopped at Target with a debit card:
- Do all of the above as for credit cards, but pay very careful attention to 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 preemptively request a new debit card or put a security block on your account.
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The BBB of Middle Tennessee, Inc. was founded in 1961 as a non-profit Tennessee organization serving 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and 7 counties in Southern Kentucky. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada.
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