HONOLULU, Hawaii – If you are a Target customer and are concerned that your personal information may have been compromised in the retail company’s massive data breach announced last month, there is a free tool available to monitor your credit.
On Monday, the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection urged all state residents who shop at Target stores to take advantage of one year of free credit monitoring, which is being offered by the company. The DCCA is urging customers to take action regardless of whether or not they’ve identified suspicious activity in their personal accounts.
“The Office of Consumer Protection strongly recommends that all Target customers, regardless of whether they’ve identified suspicious activity in their personal accounts, take advantage of this offer,” OCP Executive Director Bruce Kim said. “Additionally, consumers who have not done so already should take the proactive steps of changing their PIN numbers and passwords. The Office of Consumer Protection is continuing to monitor the situation to ensure that consumers receive all the protections they deserve in the wake of this serious nationwide data breach.” Hawaii DCCA media release, Jan. 13, 2014
The data breach happened between November and December of 2013. Hackers reportedly obtained the payment card information of 40 million customers. The stolen information included credit and debit card data, customer names and PIN numbers.
Last week, Target revealed that hackers also stole a second batch of data that included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million people.
The free credit monitoring will be offered through Experian’s ProtectMyID, and the service provides a copy of a credit report, daily credit monitoring, identity theft insurance (except where prohibited by law) and access to personalized assistance from a fraud resolution agent.
Target has provided the following information for consumers looking to take advantage of this program:
- Consumers who shopped in U.S. stores may request an activation code by entering their name and email address at creditmonitoring.target.com before April 23, 2014.
- Consumers will then receive an email from Target within one to five days that will include the unique activation code and instructions on how to register the code with ProtectMyID.
- Consumers will have until April 30, 2014, to register their code with ProtectMyID.
- Emails collected during the process of creating activation codes will only be used for the purpose of sending an activation code to enroll in free credit monitoring.
Consumers should be alert for suspicious unsolicited emails or text messages bearing Target logos or using the word “Target” in the website address. There may be “phishing” scams purporting to be from Target seeking personal information from unsuspecting consumers. If you’ve received such an email, and have any doubt as to its authenticity, please do not open it and delete it from your email file.
Consumers with questions are encouraged to visit target.com/databreach or to contact Target directly at 866-852-8680.
OCP has been monitoring the situation that has affected at least 121,000 Hawaii shoppers. The office has agreed to a joint investigation into the breach with other states.
OCP is the primary agency responsible for reviewing, investigating and prosecuting allegations of unfair or deceptive trade practices in consumer transactions.Hawaii DCCA media release, Jan. 13, 2014
LINK: Target data breach