With less than a week until Christmas, the Target data breach couldn't have come at a worse time. Target is telling shoppers, if you made a purchase using a debit or credit card, between Black Friday and last Sunday, your account may be at risk.
Here's how to find out whether your shopping trip cost you more than your bargained for.
The Target Corporation has set up this website to help its customers navigate this unprecedented data breach. It starts with a letter expressing the company's deep regret about the incident and detailing that the stolen information includes customer names, credit or debit card numbers, the card's expiration date and the 3-digit security code.
Even though Target is working with a forensics firm to investigate how it happened and what additional security measures can be taken to stop it from happening again; it's going to be up to you to find out whether you've been a victim by monitoring your monthly credit card statements and your credit report for unauthorized activity.
You can access the three major credit bureaus through the Target page, or simply click on this link which will redirect you to Annual Credit Report.com, where you can get a free copy of your credit report.
If you find a problem, Target suggest contact your bank. If it was a Target Redcard account, you should contact Target directly.
The Target site then directs you to the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft website, which details what steps you should take immediately once you know you've been a victim of identity theft, including setting up a fraud alert on your accounts and creating an identity theft report.