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If You Shopped at Target – You Need to Read This


Recently, it was reported that consumers who shopped at a Target store November 27th thru December 15th potentially could have had their credit or debit card compromised. Initial reports seem to indicate that thieves infiltrated their security system to gain access to data on the magnetic strips of shoppers’ cards which would potentially allow them to produce clone cards. “This could possibly become a nightmare for consumers,” states Jana Castanon spokesperson for Apprisen. “The consequences of this breach might not be felt for many months. It also highlights the importance of consumers needing to be aware of all the transactions hitting their accounts, especially during the holiday season when you might overlook these details." If you do become a victim, Apprisen offers these tips:

  • Check your statements often. Verify that all of the transactions on your accounts are ones that you have made.  Compare the items on your statements to your receipts. Be suspicious of small amounts because, often times, thieves will send a “tester” transaction as to not raise suspensions of the cardholder. 
  • Call your credit card company or bank. As soon as you suspect a fraudulent charge on your account, call to close out your account. Under federal law, your responsibility for unauthorized credit card charges is limited to $50 and in some cases would be $0. Your responsibility for debit card fraud charges could be a bit more. It is limited to $50 if you notify the bank within 2 days and could be up to $500 afterwards. 
  • Be on the lookout! Unauthorized charges may not show up today but may show up in the future months. Because of this, it is critical that you check your account history often.  
  • Notify the credit bureaus. If you find that your credit card has been used fraudulently, contact one of the three credit bureaus to have a fraud alert placed on your account. They will notify the other two bureaus so it is not necessary to contact all three. For the next 90 days, creditors checking your account will be told to verify your identity. You can contact the credit bureaus online at the following links:

Becoming a victim of fraud could happen at any time.  But, by taking the necessary precautions you could limit your monetary liability and time spent fixing the problem.



Apprisen, a national nonprofit credit counseling agency, has been helping consumers manage their finances and get out of debt for almost 60 years.

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