Last week, Target announced that criminals may have stolen credit and debit card data (i.e., names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and security codes) from up to 40 million customers who shopped at its stores between November 27 and December 15, 2013. If you shopped at a Target store during that time period (we did), here are five things that experts suggest you can do to protect yourself from fraudulent charges:
- Cancel the card or cards you used at Target and order replacements;
- Sign up for fraud monitoring services (which some financial institutions offer for free);
- Scrutinize your card statements for any unauthorized activity;
- Immediately report any unauthorized activity to your financial institution and to the Federal Trade Commission; and
- If your account is compromised, place a fraud alert and security freeze on your credit report, both of which can be done for free.