ATLANTA (AP/WVOC) - Target now says debit card personal identification numbers or PINs are among the information stolen from millions of customers who shopped at the retailer earlier this month.
The PIN is the series of numbers you enter to make secure transactions on a debit or credit card.
But Target believes the PIN numbers are still safe because the information was strongly encrypted. The retailer says the PINs can only be decrypted when received by its independent payment processor.
However, some security experts feel the PINs are at risk and Target shoppers should change them.
They say such data has been decrypted before, in particular, the 2005 hacking case involving TJ Maxx stores, believed the largest case of identity theft in U.S. history.
Juliana Harris, with the state Department of Consumer Affairs, says in addition to closely monitoring your card and bank statements, you may want to contact credit reporting agencies to flag your accounts.
“You can issue a fraud alert and that alerts creditors that might issue credit in your name to take some steps to verify your identity before they do issue that credit,” she explains.
And Harris says another option is to “freeze” your credit, which should stop all new credit being issued in your name.
But you'll have to “thaw” your status before even you can open new accounts.
For more information, check online at www.consumer.sc.gov or call 1-800-922-1594.