If you shop at Target (and chances are you do), then keep a close eye on your debit and credit card statements.

Just in time for the holidays, there’s been a massive security breach affecting 40 million customers, making it the second-largest in U.S. history. TJ Maxx and Marshalls currently hold that record. A 2007 theft affected nearly 45.7 million credit cards.

The Target fraud took place in U.S. stores from Nov. 27-Dec. 13. Investigators believe the information was stolen from software used for credit card swiping machines.

Target says they are partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to fully investigate the breach.

“The good news is, from what Target has said, what was stolen was card data and not personally identifying information,” credit card analyst Janna Herron notes. “Unless they get your Social Security number and address, it’s really hard for whoever is behind the breach to apply for credit in your name.”

So what should you do? Check your credit card statement. If you notice any unusual charges, notify your bank immediately. Make sure to search through everything with a fine tooth comb. Identity thieves sometimes charge tiny amounts so that you don’t notice as quickly.

You should also contact credit reporting bureaus, like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to inform them of the unauthorized charges. You don’t want your credit score to take a hit!

  • Equifax: (800) 525-6285
  • Experian: (800) 397-3742
  • TransUnion: (800) 680-7289

Are you a victim of credit card theft? Learn more about what steps to take here.

  • Were you affected by the Target security breach? Tell us your story below.

-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles


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