Madison College expert gives credit card advice

December 20, 2013

From “Experts offer advice following massive Target security breach” — As many as 40 million people who shopped at Target in the three weeks after Thanksgiving may have had their credit or debit card data hacked. Experts are calling it a massive security breach and are reminding people to take some precautions so they don’t become victims of fraud.

Some Target shoppers in Madison Thursday were shocked to hear the news. “That’s horrible. I feel a little bit betrayed that they would let that sort of information get out, actually,” Corey Stoelb tells 27 News.

The hackers reportedly stole data from magnetic strips on the back of debit and credit cards.That includes your name, credit card number, security code and expiration date. Target says anyone who shopped at the store between November 27 and December 15 could have compromised data.

“They have a small window between when they get this going and when it gets found out, that’s why they target mass sales times of the year, because they can fit it in that window,” Madison College Information Security Instructor Mike Masino says about the hackers. Masino says users can take some steps to prevent money from being stolen like monitoring activity on a credit card or debit card daily or weekly online. “Just makes it a lot easier to get out in front of it if someone’s breaking into the accounts,” he says. “Another good thing to do is to use credit cards when you’re doing this kind of stuff and not use the bank cards that are directly connected to those accounts.”

The Better Business Bureau says debit cards also give you less time to dispute a fraudulent charge so if you see one, call the credit card company or bank immediately. Target is also advising customers to change pin numbers. The BBB also warns this situation may cause more scams, from people posing to be your bank or the store, and looking for personal information.

Thursday, Target says it has identified and resolved the security issue. The secret service is investigating the crime.


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