AG Gansler Notifies Target Customers About Free Credit Monitoring Offer
Data breach impacted millions more than originally thought; all Target shoppers eligible for one year of credit monitoring
Marylanders can get ID theft help through Consumer Protection Division
Baltimore, MD (January 14, 2014) - In the wake of the latest disclosure about the Target data breach impacting millions more than originally estimated, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today notified Marylanders that Target is offering its customers one year of free credit monitoring. Attorney General Gansler also urged Marylanders who are concerned they may have been the victims of identity theft to contact his Consumer Protection Division.
"Target customers, even those who have not identified suspicious activity on their personal accounts, should monitor their credit, whether or not they choose to take advantage of the company's offer," said Attorney General Gansler. "Being a vigilant consumer can keep your private information from falling into the hands of scammers and criminals. I will continue to work on behalf of Maryland consumers to ensure that they receive all the protections they deserve in the aftermath of this nationwide security breach."
Attorney General Gansler further advised Target customers that they should change any PIN numbers and passwords associated with their credit accounts, which is always a good practice for consumers to protect against fraud.
Last month, Target reported a data breach in which the payment card information of 40 million customers had been obtained by hackers between November 27 and December 15. The stolen information included credit and debit card data, customer names and PIN numbers. Last week, the retail company revealed that hackers also stole a second batch of data that included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million people.
Target initially estimated that 980,000 Marylanders' accounts were involved in the security breach; that estimate predates last week's announcement that the breach may have impacted millions more Americans.
Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring to all Target customers, not only to those customers who had information compromised in the data breach. Interested consumers can register for the free credit monitoring at creditmonitoring.target.com.
The free credit monitoring will be offered through Experian's ProtectMyID, and the service provides a copy of a credit report, daily credit monitoring, identity theft insurance (except where prohibited by law) and access to personalized assistance from a fraud resolution agent.
Target has provided the following information for consumers looking to take advantage of this program:
- Consumers who shopped in U.S. stores may request an activation code by entering their name and email address at creditmonitoring.target.com before April 23, 2014.
- Consumers will then receive an email from Target within one to five days that will include the unique activation code and instructions on how to register the code with ProtectMyID.
- Consumers will have until April 30, 2014, to register their code with ProtectMyID.
- Emails collected during the process of creating activation codes will only be used for the purpose of sending an activation code to enroll in free credit monitoring.
Consumers with questions are encouraged to visit target.com/databreach or to contact Target directly at 866-852-8680. Some frequently asked questions about credit monitoring have been posted at https://corporate.target.com/about/payment-card-issue/credit-monitoring-FAQ.aspx.
Marylanders who think they have been the victims of identity theft can contact the Attorney General's Identity Theft Unit at IDTheft@oag.state.md.us or by calling 888-743-0023 or 410-576-6491. For more information about how to prevent having your identity from being stolen, consumers can visit Attorney General Gansler's website at http://www.oag.state.md.us/idtheft/index.htm.