With the importance of security surrounding the increase in shopping that supports the holiday season, a retailer’s biggest fear is dealing with a cybersecurity threat during their most high traffic time of the year. So when Target announced a data breach, only days away from Christmas, the timing was anything but convenient for the retail giant and its customers.
An estimated 40 million credit cards and debit cards that were used between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 were breached, though Target representatives confirmed earlier this week that all customer’s PIN numbers remain secure and safe.
While customers became the first affected party on Target’s mind after the breach was announced, the company’s attention was quickly diverted to the subsequent banks of the customer’s that they would have to answer to. Target is looking at million dollars in legal fees due to this mishap.
Nearly a week after Christmas, and two weeks after the breach was announced, customers are already noticing fraudulent charges on their accounts. Consumers affected by the breach are justified to sue the retailer if hackers rack up charges on their credit/debit cards that result in negative impacts on their credit. According to Biz Journal, banks and credit card companies can also take Target to court over the costs of having to issue new cards and dealing with fraudulent purchases, which has already become the case according to a number of news outlets.
While a stop to this fraudulent activity and the outcome of the breach in general is still unknown, one thing that is for certain, is that any Target customers who may have shopped at the retailer in the weeks leading up to Christmas should be taking immediate action to avoid fraudulent charges and potential negative implications against their credit. If you have yet to do so, contact your bank to alert them of potential fraud and request a new credit/debit card. Banks have been understanding of the massive breach, however, if your account has been compromised, you will still have to wait 2-4 weeks to be compensated for any funds that were lost in the process.
For more related reports on cybersecurity and data breaches, check out these recent articles: