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Archive for the ‘Identity Theft’ Category

Update on Target Breach

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

I wrote about security breach in Target few weeks ago. I shopped in local target during thanksgiving; my card seems to be safe. So far, knock on wood — there is no authorized transactions on my card. However, I used another card in target.com in first week of December. That card information was compromised. Based on news reports, I thought that the problem was isolated to in-store transactions. If you bought something from target.com since November 2013, be alert! Now, I am more reluctant to visit target.com or go to their local store. I did go there last week, but I used cash.

What to do if you shopped in Target during security breach?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Like many others, I shopped heavily during thanksgiving weekend. One of the shops I went to is Target. Around the same time, some crooks stole tons of credit card/debit card information from Target. When I heard about it first, I thought that the breach occurred in online. I do not shop in Target.com, I felt relieved. Few minutes later, I went back and read the news again. Then, it hit me. “Holy shit… they targeted card swiping devices in stores!” How that is possible?!

Well, it seems possible. I have no idea why Target was so careless. Target is much better than Kmart like shops. Still, Target probably made blunders and let its gate open wide. The breach is nationwide in scope. If you shopped in any Target locations between 11/27/13 and 12/15/13, check the statements of the card(s) you used in Target every day at least for next few weeks. Typically, consumers are not responsible for unauthorized charges. Target issued statement. They assured that you do not need to worry about unauthorized charges.Still, it’s better to keep an eye on your statements to avoid any kind of nuisance to deal with.

Stolen card numbers from Target already started appearing in black market according to New York Times. If you see any unauthorized charges in your card account, call your bank that issued the card immediately. You should be more worried if you have used your debit card in Target during the above time period. Target assures that your PIN number is not compromised. May be. But, it does not hurt to change your PIN number if you used debit card in Target.

Final word. Do not let this incident stopping you from shopping in Target. It’s a good store with decent customer service. You may want to pay in cash until you are totally sure they fixed the security issues.

ATM Skimming – How to prevent ATM card theft?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

You don’t need to lose your ATM card for someone to steal the money from your account. You just need to swipe the card in a compromised ATM machine to give all your information to identity thieves. ATM Skimming is the process in which crooks steal your ATM card information without your knowledge. Wall Street Journal published article detailing this prevalent identity theft problem.

It’s always a better idea to use the ATM machines only in the bank branches. Do not use the ATM card when you travel abroad. Do not use ATM card in gas stations, strip clubs and in any place where the ATM machine looks different than usual. According to Wall Street Journal, sophisticated skimming devices are placed right over a card-reader slot that allows the scammers to capture the information embedded on the magnetic strip of a debit or credit card. Camera mounted on the right place also captures your hand movements and PIN number. If you are curious about how a skimmer would look like, take a look at the following video.

It’s highly recommended to cover the keyboard with the other hand when you key in your PIN to block anyone or a camera from seeing your PIN. This may seem paranoid, but it’s better to look paranoid than actually losing lot of money. If the ATM machine looks different than usual or if it looks crooked or damaged, just walk away.

Related Link: Man accused of installing cameras in ATM machines

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