Weatherford Democrat

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December 21, 2013

Store’s local customers hoping their cards not Target-ed

Possible theft of credit, debit card info from tens of millions of Target customers has shoppers worried

(Continued)

Joseph Mills has a different view. The Weatherford resident said while his account hasn’t been affected, he has changed his PIN number and admits he will be more careful.

“It’s true it could have happened anywhere but Target is a major retailer and you figured you’d be safer from that kind of thing happening at a major retailer,” Mills said. “I guess you can’t be too careful anymore.”

Debbie Rowe, cashier with First National Bank of Weatherford, said FNB along with many other banks have had customers affected by the hacking.

She said she was unsure how many FNB customers had been affected because the bank is doing its own investigating. With the vast magnitude of the hacking, nearly all banks will have someone affected, Rowe said.

Banks locally are telling their customers to change their PIN numbers and monitor their credit and accounts to ensure they are safe, which she says everyone should do as a common sense practice. Any fraudulent transactions might take place for days, weeks or even months.

The theft is the second-largest credit card breach in U.S. history, exceeded only by a scam that began in 2005 involving retailer TJX Cos. That incident affected at least 45.7 million card users.

There was no indication the three- or four-digit security numbers visible on the back of the card were affected, Target said. The data breach did not affect online purchases, the company said.

Eric Hausman, a Target spokesman, said the company is engaged in “an ongoing investigation.”

Target hasn’t disclosed exactly how the breach occurred but said it has fixed the problem. Given the millions of dollars that companies such as Target spend implementing credit-card security measures each year, Avivah Litan, a security analyst with Gartner Research, said she believes the theft might have been an inside job.

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