Target customers react to security breach

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A security breach at Target places the personal information of 40 million customers at risk.

At the height of shopping season, Target is warning it's customers that their credit and/or debit card information may have been stolen.

The Secret Service is investigating the breach.

We don't know if any local Target stores were hit, but the company said the breach is nationwide.

Target is in the process of notifying banks and credit cards companies, who will then contact customers who were hacked.

Target officials say between November 27 and December 15 hackers stole data from the magnetic strips on the back of credit cards.

One local bank said it answered about a dozen calls from customers who were worried their account was compromised.

"We're telling them to look at their account," said First Missouri State Bank Vice-President Brittany Lee. "Log into their online banking. Come by the bank and get a statement. Look at your transactions. Make sure all of them look at something that you've done. And then if there is something that looks suspicious obviously give us a call immediately. Because we will close out that card and order you a new one."

Lee said she is a Target regular.

She said her online statements look normal, so for now, she's decided to just keep a close eye on her account.

Other shoppers say the news is worrisome, but it won't keep them from shopping at the retail giant.

"It's a real concern and it's something to really think about," said shopper Crystal Harris. "You know people taking you're money and you don't even know it."

"Any store or corporation could be at risk," said shopper Laura Vandivort. "I wouldn't not shop at Target because of that. In fact, I'm going to Target after I leave the mall."

This is just the latest in a string of recent technological breaches and local experts say this type of theft is becoming more common.

"Yes it is becoming a more and more popular avenue for a criminal to take," said Director of the SEMO Department of Public Safety.

So what can you do to protect yourself against credit card fraud?

1. Check your statement often.

2. Password protect all your accounts.

3. Place spending alerts on your accounts.

4. Sign up for a fraud monitoring service.

5. If you think you're a victim of fraud, immediately call your bank and/or credit card provider.

6. Replace your credit card and change your PIN.

7. Keep receipts to prove what is authorized, and what is not.

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