Outrage over Target data breach grows - WFLA News Channel 8

Outrage over Target data breach grows

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

There is more fallout over the massive credit and debit card data breach at Target. Security experts now estimate there is a one in seven chance that your credit card has been compromised.

Loyal Target customers are lighting up the giant retailer's Facebook page. Many are outraged that they can't get through to cancel their Target credit and debit cards, called Red Cards.

One Facebook customer writes: "It is impossible to cancel when the website won't let you access your account and the phone number to call is constantly busy."

It is a public relations nightmare for Target during the busiest shopping season of the year. And part of the PR problem is customers wondering if the problem is resolved. A question not answered until the very end of a lengthy notice posted on the Target website.

It took the retail giant three weeks to realize the breach had occurred and experts say the damage was already done.

How did the thieves do it? Authorities still don't know. Experts believe it was either sophisticated, organized criminals who may have planted a virus in Target's system or it was an inside job. Target has now hired a third party forensic firm to prevent it from happening again.

What did the thieves steal? All of the information on the card's magnetic strip including full names, card numbers, expiration dates and even security codes.

Thieves can sell that information around the world on the black market which is exactly what experts fear is happening now.

According to Gerri Detweiler at Credit.com it is important for consumer to understand the distinction between a compromised credit card and a compromised debit card.

"If your credit card is compromised you can dispute the charges and withhold payments but if your debit card is used by a crook, they can drain your bank account and you may not have the money you need to pay bills while your bank investigates," says Detweiler.

"The bank has up to ten days to provisionally credit your account, sometimes less depending on the type of card, but in the meantime you may find yourself scrambling for cash," he added.

So if you used a debit card for a Target purchase during the affected dates, check your bank account activity daily.


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