Tips for Target customers in wake of new data breach revelations

In the wake of new revelations about the data breach at Target stores, Better Business Bureau recommends consumers who shopped there since November contact their financial institutions immediately if there are any irregularities.

Target on Jan. 10 revealed hackers stole not only credit card numbers, but also email addresses, telephone numbers and mailing addresses from 70 million customers.

Last month, the company said 40 million customers who used debit or credit cards were affected by the breach, which is believed to have started in November. The revelations about the extent of the breach and theft of additional personal information had not been disclosed until now.

Better Business Bureau recommends:

Don’t wait: Consumers who shopped at Target contact their banks and credit card issuers immediately, and check monthly statements for any unauthorized charges. Your liability can increase the longer you wait after a card is lost or stolen.

Beware of “helpful” callers and emails: Hang up on anyone who calls or sends you an email claiming to be from your bank or Target and asks for personal information, supposedly to help lock down your accounts. Even if the email looks official, don’t click on any links. Go directly to for additional information.

Check your credit report: You’re entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit monitoring companies at the government-sanctioned site Your reports will show whether anyone has opened accounts in your name.

Use a credit card for purchases: Some consumers report their bank accounts were emptied because they used a debit card to pay for their purchases. Criminals do not need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to make purchases.

Target also has a toll-free number to call —  866-852-8680 — if you suspect your information has been stolen, and is offering one year of free credit monitoring for customers at risk.