Morrisey: Consumers may receive calls, texts, or emails from someone claiming to be from Target seeking personal information.
In light of last week’s news that as many as 40 million Target credit and debit card accounts may have been breached, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wanted to update consumers of a scam that has sprung up across the country regarding credit card and identity theft.
“Scammers often use uncertainty and confusion as a time to prey on vulnerable consumers,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Consumers may receive calls, texts, or emails from someone claiming to be from Target asking for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information. These scams attempt to offer ‘protection’ but instead try to steal personal information from consumers. Do not give this information.”
The unauthorized access took place in U.S. Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. Target.com orders were not affected. According to Target, there is no indication that PIN numbers have been compromised on affected bank issued PIN debit cards or Target debit cards. Someone cannot visit an ATM with a fraudulent debit card and withdraw cash.
“It is important to remember that if Target contacts you, they will not ask for personal information,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The best thing for consumers to do should they receive fraudulent communications from someone alleging to be affiliated with Target is to hang up and call Target to confirm the communication is legitimate. This is especially true with emails that ask you to click on a link. This link could direct you to a fake website created by a scammer that is trying to get your personal information. Consumers who shopped at Target during this time should closely monitor their accounts and report fraudulent or suspicious purchases.”
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or your credit cards have been breached, call local law enforcement, as well as the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 and the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338 or go online to www.ftc.gov/idtheft