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WV AG Warns Consumers About Target-Related Scam

Reported by: Send eMail Katy Brown
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Also Contributing: Associated Press
Reported: Dec. 24, 2013 6:10 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 26, 2013 10:42 PM EST

EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Morrisey Target Scam
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Fallout keeps coming from the major security breach at Target, affecting as many as 40 million customers.

Now, a U.S. Senator is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to step in.

Closer to home, a new spinoff scam is circulating in West Virginia.

It was certainly not what people wanted to deal with during the holidays and, although the shopping season is over, the scams linked to Target continue.

"It's horrible,” Target customer Kelly Neal said. “It's Christmas season, and nobody wants that to happen."

As people shopped for their holiday presents, hackers and scammers were hard at work, gathering the credit and debit card information of 40 million Target customers.

Kim Quintrell said she shopped at the Southridge Target for Christmas presents, and was concerned when the news of the scam broke last week.

I've just been really vigilant, keeping a close eye on my account and seeing if there are any purchases that might be fraud," she said.

And with the fear that debit card personal identification numbers could be among the compromised information, banks were taking steps too.

Chase Bank has limited their customers to a $100 ATM withdrawal and a $300 spending limit, a move to protect customers, but an inconvenience to some last minute shoppers.

“That would upset me,” Neal said. “Not being able to get what I wanted to buy, if I was spending that much. If you're out here Christmas shopping at the last minute, you want to be able to get what you came here for."

But just as Target and the banks begin to get control of what is being called one of the worst security breaches in U.S. history, another scam is taking over...

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning of calls, texts and emails from scammers, claiming to be with Target and asking for personal information such as Social Security numbers and credit card numbers.

"Sometimes, they don't know or don't realize that people can be deceiving,” Quintrell said. “I worry that, maybe if they would get the call, they might give out some innappropriate information."

Between in-store and now telephone scams, Quintrell said there's only one way possible scam victims can make sure their money is safe once again.

"My plan is to, now that the Christmas season is over, cancel my debit card and have it reissued," she said.

For those out shopping, Morrisey said to regularly monitor bank accounts and billing statements for any suspicious activity.

Credit reports can be reviewed for any questionable changes.

Remember that any offer that seems too good to be true typically is, and that Target won't ask for personal information, like a Social Security number, over the phone.

If you believe you have been a victim of the scam, call police or the attorney general's consumer protection division at 800-368-8808.




West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning consumers about a credit card and identity theft scam following Target's recent data breach.

Retailer Target said last week that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

Morrisey says consumers who shopped at Target during this time should closely monitor their accounts and report fraudulent or suspicious purchases.

Consumers also may receive calls, texts, or emails from someone claiming to be from Target asking for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and other personal information.

Morrisey says the best thing for consumers to do if they receive fraudulent communications from someone alleging to be affiliated with Target is to hang up and call Target to confirm the communication is legitimate.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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