PORTLAND -- As many as 40 million Target customers had their credit and debit card information stolen by thieves this holiday season, including the Black Friday weekend.
Background: Target reports 40 million card accounts may have been breached
Here's some tips from the Oregon Department of Justice if you think your personal information may have been compromised:
Step 1: Notify the Credit Bureaus
Request a fraud alert from one of the credit bureaus. This tells banks and other creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name.
A fraud alert is free and will last 90 days unless you request an extended seven-year fraud alert and provide a police report. You’ll also get a free copy of your credit report, which you should review carefully.
To request a fraud alert, contact one of the three nationwide credit bureaus.
Oregon's Attorney General also advises you report suspected identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
Step 2: Consider a Security Freeze
A security freeze stops access to new credit in your name. Placing a security freeze prohibits credit reporting agencies from releasing any information about you to new creditors without your approval, making it difficult for an identity thief to use your information to open an account or obtain credit.
Step 3: Monitor Your Credit
Continue to review your credit reports every few months. Your private information that was released in the security breach may not be used right away. You can request a free credit report annually.
Step 4: Notifying Law Enforcement
Most law enforcement agencies will not issue you a police report until your private information is actually used by an ID thief. If you have any suspicion that your information is being used by a thief, contact local law enforcement immediately.
Step 5: Protect yourself from ID theft online
Oregon has a list of measures you can take to protect passwords and sensitive information you use online. They include not using unsecured Wi-Fi networks and being aware of viruses and spyware.
Customers who have any questions about the security breach can call Target at 866-852-8680 or visit Target's website.