If you shopped at Target over the holiday, you are probably aware that your credit or debit card was at risk of being stolen.
It is now believed that close to 110,000,000 people may have their credit or debit cards compromised by hackers. Since then, the number of stolen cards has almost tripled. Should you be worried?
"I wouldn't get discouraged from using your debit and credit cards at the merchants. The system is pretty secure," said Ron Lauren, CEO of SIR Federal Credit Union.
There are plenty of measures in place to protect consumers. For instance, Target is offering consumers free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.
Your financial institution may help protect you as well.
"The credit union itself had about 750 cards that were compromised. We've notified our members and reissued them all," Lauren said.
Keep an eye on credit card and bank statements. If you discover that fraudulent purchases have been made on your card, be sure to act quickly.
"First of all, you want to contact all of the credit bureaus and have a fraud alert put on your credit report so that no new accounts can be opened. Second, you absolutely want to contact each of your credit card companies and talk to their fraud department, tell them that you believe your account has been stolen," said Stuart Baker, Financial Counselor at Green Path Debt Solutions.
Baker also suggests checking on your credit score. You can look at your credit report for free on www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you need any help understanding your credit report, the folks at Green Path Debt Solutions offer free credit report reviews.
If you are concerned that your credit or debit card has been compromised, in addition to keeping a close eye on statements, check with your financial institution to see if they will issue you a new card. If you have a debit card, it wouldn't hurt to change your pin number either.
Check out the links below for more information on Target, acquiring your credit report, and Green Path Debt Solutions.