Target has now revealed that the addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of some 70 million customers were impacted by the security breach which the company had said last month involved only 40 million people.
Bill Brauch, the head of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, says its something Iowa is watching along with others as he says nearly every state is part of a group that is looking at the Target situation and are in communication with the company. Brauch says the Attorneys General have two goals. “Trying to determine whether Target did all it reasonably should have to avoid the problems that are there — the privacy breeches — and then also tracking what Target is doing to try to resolve that situation,” Brauch explains. “So many Iowans are impacted that we’re gonna be very involved, in making sure that first of all, that if Target didn’t do what it was reasonably expected to do to avoid these problems, that it fixes that situation pronto.”
He says the company has been working with them. “We appreciate the fact that Target has been up front with us in reaching out to us and communicating with us and we hope that that continues as we move through the process,” Brauch says. It’s hard to know exactly how many Iowans may’ve had their vital information stolen, so he says it’s important that you keep an eye on your accounts. “We strongly urge Target customers to watch their credit card bills — or if it was a debit card used — watch them very, very carefully,” he says.
Brauch advises everyone, Target shoppers and others, to check their credit report every four months for any irregularities. He says the four major credit agencies are legally required to give you a free credit report once a year. “You can do that very easily by going to annualcreditreport.com,” Brauch says. “That is the free site set up by the federal government. We strongly discourage consumers from going to pay sites that might be labeled free sites but really aren’t.”
Brauch says if you see anything that looks out of the ordinary you should contact your credit card company.