It’s very simple. Even if your bank account has not been accessed and money stolen, if you shopped at Target between November 27 and December 15 and you used your credit (or especially) your debit card, YOU need to take action. Don’t wait for Target to do something for you, you need to be proactive.
Sure, you may think that your account is OK, you haven’t seen any strange transactions, but that doesn’t mean that your information hasn’t been stolen. Weeks or even months from now, the thieves may access your account, long after the media hype about the incident has blown over. And even if no money is ever stolen, that doesn’t mean that your own private information stored on your card’s magnetic strip hasn’t been stolen, setting you up for a serious case of identity theft.
Even if you only had one or two debit card transactions (like me), take action now. Go to your bank or go online to your credit card company, report the card as stolen, cancel that card, and get a new one. If it’s a debit card, and you can go to your nearby bank branch office, they will be able to cancel that card and give you a temporary debit card (as they did for me) until the new card ships. Destroy the old card when they give you your new one (if you don’t have a shredder that will shred cards, cut it along the digits). Then when the new card arrives, destroy the temporary after activating the new card.
Don’t wait for the criminals to get you – and don’t wait for someone else (the bank or credit card company) to do this for you. Do it yourself NOW!