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More Than Just Your Account Info At Risk In Target Breach

January 10, 2014, 10:04 PM by Angela Kennecke

More Than Just Your Account Info At Risk In Target Breach

If you've ever shopped at Target, you need to be monitoring more than just your bank account. 
Friday, the retailer announced that the data breach puts as many as 110 million people at risk and thieves got a lot of personal information, like email addresses and phone numbers.  You didn't have to necessarily shop at Target during the holiday season either.

You've heard to keep a vigilant eye on your bank and credit card accounts for any fraud following the Target data breach.  Now you also need to be extra careful of your emails, phone calls and letters coming in the mail.  That's because hackers were able to get that data off of Target's system.

"So now they have your name and your address and possibly your phone number.  They may have your pin number so they can go and set up a whole new identity using your information," Jessie Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau said.

That can make consumers vulnerable to other scams that can come via email and regular mail.  Hackers can piece together your stolen information to launch a "spearphising" attack.   You could get a very personalized email asking you to click on a link or download an attachment letting the hackers into your system.

“And that downloads malware to your computer and then they have access to anything you've ever done there; if you've ever bought anything on another credit card or filed taxes on your computer," Schmidt said.

Target has set up a website on the data breach with resources for consumers.  Target says it will offer free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to its customers and will be releasing more details next week, including how to enroll. You'll have three months to sign up for it. 

It's the kind of nightmare no retailer can afford to have.  Target's sales are down and it's going to be spending millions now to clean up the mess the data breach created. It's also announced the closing of up to eight underperforming stores.

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