In light of the recent breach of over 40 million credit and debit cards at Target, it makes sense to review some key actions consumers should take if they are concerned that their cards information was included.
1. Call your credit card company or check online to verify current charges, even if you haven’t been notified yet by Target. Look for any unusual charges, as attackers may sometimes test the waters to make sure the number is associated with a valid account before making a big transaction.
2. Call your bank to let them know of the breach so they can be on notice for any unusual activity. Request a new card, and change your PIN, as well as any passwords used to access online credit card accounts.
3. Activate fraud prevention services from your credit card provider. Most card providers offer good services where they monitor for unusual activity and will proactively call you to verify charges that don’t fit your usual profile of activity.
4. Sign up for a fraud-prevention service. They are relatively inexpensive, and it’s possible that Target may cover the cost of such a service, as other companies have done.
Target has published a set of instructions regarding the breach on their website, which includes many additional recommendations.
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