Madigan urges consumers to protect against identity theft in wake of
Connecticut lead investigation into massive security breaches at
Target, Neiman Marcus
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[January 18, 2014]
CHICAGO — Attorney General Lisa
Madigan alerted consumers this week to several steps they can take
to protect themselves against identity theft and unauthorized
charges in the wake of data breaches reported by Target and Neiman
Marcus stores nationwide.
Madigan is urging consumers to immediately take several steps to
protect their bank and credit card accounts:
You can cancel
your old debit or credit card and obtain new cards.
If you have ever
used a debit card to shop at a Target store, you can contact
your bank to change your debit card PIN numbers and passwords.
You can check your
bank and credit card accounts daily online and your billing
statements every month. Contest unauthorized charges immediately
over the phone and in writing.
Any consumer who
has ever shopped at a U.S. Target store can sign up for free
credit monitoring being offered by the company in response to
its massive data breach. Visit
creditmonitoring.target.com to sign up. Consumers must sign
up by April 23. You will be provided a copy of your credit
report, daily credit monitoring and access to personalized
assistance from a fraud resolution agent. You will not see
unauthorized charges through the monitoring, but you can see if
new accounts are opened in your name or if a change of address
for an account has been requested.
You can set up an
alert on your account to receive notification when your credit
or debit card is used over and above a certain dollar figure.
This is called "setting transaction alerts."
Beware of callers who claim to be with
your card-issuing bank. These calls may be a scam. Consumers
should contact their bank first at the toll-free number on the
back of your card before disclosing any personal information.
Madigan and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen are
leading an investigation into both breaches of customers' personal
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"The magnitude of the Target breach is a wake-up call to all
shoppers to be vigilant about activity on your credit and debit
cards — because it's not a matter of if but when you are going to
be a victim of identity theft or a security breach," Madigan said.
"This is why I created our Identity Theft Hotline in 2006. My office
can provide you with resources on how to best protect your personal
and financial information and how to clean up and restore your
credit if you have been victimized. Please visit our website for
further information or call my office for assistance."
Last month, Target first reported a data breach affecting 40
million customers during November and December 2013. Stolen
information included credit and debit card data, customer names, and
PIN numbers. Last week, Target further revealed that names, mailing
addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for up to an additional
70 million people nationwide were also compromised.
Media reports have additionally indicated that the department
store chain Neiman Marcus sustained a recent data breach, which
Madigan's office is investigating.
Consumers with questions regarding Target's breach are encouraged
target.com/databreach or to contact Target directly at
Consumers can also contact Madigan's Identity Theft Hotline at
1-866-999-5630. The hotline is staffed with identity theft experts
who can help victims report the crime to local law enforcement and
financial institutions, work to repair their credit, and prevent
future theft. Hotline operators can also assist callers who want to
take proactive steps to prevent their personal information from
[Text from file received from the office of
Illinois Attorney General Lisa