Target Breach Has Greater Ramifications

RENO, NV - As many at 70,000,000 customers nationwide have had some of their financial information compromised by hackers getting access to Target's customer base. Originally, Target believed only 40,000,000 credit and debit cards were impacted, and the store thought the breach occurred between November 27 and December 15th. But now they suspect hackers gained access before that.

Little did any Target shopper know, it just took a swipe of a card to compromise their accounts, making them vulnerable to hackers, who someway somehow broke into the store's system and pulled PIN and credit card numbers.

At Greater Nevada Credit Union, roughly 5% of customers are currently receiving brand new debit cards.

“So as a precautionary measure, Greater Nevada issued cards to these members who could be affected. A lot of financial institutions have done that and that's a great security precaution,” says Tom Wambaugh with Greater Nevada.

At other institutions customers have requested a change in their PINs.

But now that Target says even more of its shoppers' information has been breached, the stakes are even higher for those customers.

It means hackers not only have access to their PINs, but emails, phone numbers and addresses.

And keep in mind some online services and marketplaces could unknowingly allow hackers to bypass a password if they have the last four digits of your payment card.

Security experts say it means you could get mail, a phone call, or email from someone identifying themselves from your bank or credit union asking for your personal information.

Experts say don't respond.

Contact your financial institution to see if you really need to make any changes.

For its part, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft to anyone who has shopped in their U.S. stores.

If you do your personal banking on-line, and get an email from that institution; compare the emails.

If you use the phone to do your banking, check the number you normally call.

If the two pieces of data are different, that will be a good clue you are being scammed.

Check your statements, and look carefully, there may be a small charge, not much, but out of the ordinary.

That is how criminals work: they test a stolen card with a few cents before charging much more.