East Hawaii News

Target Offering Shoppers Free Credit Monitoring

January 14, 2014, 12:44 PM HST
* Updated January 14, 12:45 PM
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A state agency is urging all Hawaii residents who shop at Target stores to take advantage of a year of free credit monitoring offered by the chain in the wake of the massive data breach revealed last month.

Target had announced that the breach involved credit and debit card information of 40 million of its customers that had been stolen by hackers in November and December.

Last week, the chain said that hackers stole a second batch of data that included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million people.

Target said Beginning on Monday, consumers are allowed to register for free credit monitoring at creditmonitoring.target.com. Another Target website also provides answers to frequently asked questions concerning the credit monitoring.

According to the state’s Office of Consumer Protection, 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.

“The Office of Consumer Protection strongly recommends that all Target customers, regardless of whether they’ve identified suspicious activity in their personal accounts, take advantage of this offer,” Executive Director Bruce Kim said. “Additionally, consumers who have not done so already should take the proactive steps of changing their PIN numbers and passwords.”

The OCP said Target has provided the following information for consumers looking to take advantage of this program:

Consumers who shopped in US 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.

Target said e-mails 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.

The OCP said consumers should also be on the lookout for suspicious unsolicited emails or text messages bearing Target logos or using the word “Target” in the website address.

It said these may be “phishing” scams purporting to be from Target seeking personal information from unsuspecting consumers. If you’ve received such an email, and have any doubt as to its authenticity, do not open it, and delete it from your email file, OCP officials said.

Consumers with questions are encouraged to visit target.com/databreach or to contact Target directly at 866-852-8680.

Kim said the Office of Consumer Protection will continue to monitor the situation on behalf of the estimated 121,000 Hawaii shoppers affected by the compromised data.

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