Photo Video
Target data breach bigger than thought Target upped breached customer estimate to 110 million Target hack-in changes shopper habits

Target breach even bigger: What you can do

Don't Waste Your Money

a a a a
Share this story

Shoppers are now learning that as many as 110 million credit cards and debit cards are now at risk after a massive data breach at Target stores.

The original number was 40 million, but Target upped the figure Friday to include pretty much anyone who used plastic after mid-November 2013 at Target. That's almost a quarter of the U.S. population.

So if you visited Target this holiday season, consider yourself part of this.

Target also says customer email addresses are also part of the breach.

It has all of us asking what we can do to protect our finances.

So we came up with this list of things you should do if you suspect your card has been compromised.

No. 1 - If you have a Debit Card, Change your PIN and passwords

That's the very first thing you should do.

Limit the damage that’s already been done and keep it from getting worse. And when you do, make sure your PIN isn't one of these and your passwords aren’t on this list of the easiest to hack.

No. 2 - Cancel your card(s)

Get new ones as soon as possible. That may seem redundant if you’ve changed your PIN but if your bank will issue a new one (as Chase has done), it is an extra layer of protection.

No. 3 -  Place An Initial Fraud Alert On Your Credit Report

The Ohio Attorney General says you should do this with one of the three major credit reporting agencies. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion will keep the initial fraud alert on your credit report for 90 days while you sort things out.

No. 4 - Consider a security freeze.

This will lock down your credit report to prevent a third party from seeing it, which the Ohio AG says can protect you from accounts being opened in your name. But know this: In Ohio, that freeze lasts until you lift it so do it with caution.

No. 5 Monitor your credit report

Start immediately, but you’ll want to keep checking it over the following year to make sure nothing suspicious begins to happen.

No. 6 Still have questions? Call Target directly 

That number is 1-866-852-8680. IF you can get through.

No. 7:  Used a credit card at Target? Then monitor your bill carefully.  Do not wait for a monthly statement to show up in the mail.  You should go online and check your bill every few days.  Dispute anything that seems suspicious.

Thieves sometimes charge just $1 to your card to see if it is active, so beware any small charges you did not put there.

As always, don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

"Like" John Matarese on Facebook

Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article


Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

Cobalt, Saturn owners anxious for repair
Cobalt, Saturn owners anxious for repair

John Matarese reports on the wait for ignition switch repairs

Scammers using Netflix to steal from millions
Scammers using Netflix to steal from millions

A dangerous new phishing scam is targeting the sensitive information of millions of Netflix users.

Prom or bridal dress shopping online? Beware
Prom or bridal dress shopping online? Beware

John Matarese has a caution for anyone trying to save money by dress shopping onlin.e

You Win Wednesday freebies
You Win Wednesday freebies

John Matarese shares the latest freebies. Click here for App of the Week

App of the Week
App of the Week

Check out John Matarese's latest money saving smartphone apps.

IRS phone scam targeting thousands
IRS phone scam targeting thousands

John Matarese has a warning about a major tax scam this spring.

How much water is in the chicken you buy?
How much water is in the chicken you buy?

When it comes to chicken, big packs of boneless breasts look like a good deal. But look closer.

Gasoline, beef prices soaring
Gasoline, beef prices soaring

John Matarese looks into higher prices hitting just as spring arrives

"One Ring" phone scam getting worse

John Matarese warns about the "One-Ring" scam

Easy tax mistakes that could get you audited
Easy tax mistakes that could get you audited

As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday's tax deadline, they will make mistakes that could increase their chances of being put…