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How you can protect yourself against Target’s credit breach

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Published:   |   Updated: December 19, 2013 at 02:48 PM

TAMPA — Worried that your information might have been compromised by the security breach at Target stores?

Here’s what you can do.

Watch your credit card and bank statements. Even small transactions from unknown sources are worth scrutinizing, as fraudsters often “test” if an account is active. Also, most banks and credit card companies offer fraud protection and alerts that can be sent after purchases are made on the Internet.

Call Target if you suspect any fraudulent charges. Their number for this purpose is 1-866-852-8680 Lines may be busy in the coming days.

Contact the Federal Trade Commission if you suspect ID theft. Go to the FTC’s Web site, at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or call the FTC, at (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338) or write to Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.

Contact the three major credit reporting agencies to get a current credit report, not just the overall score. You’re entitled to a free report once every 12 months. See more info on that at www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228. You can contact the nationwide credit reporting agencies at:

Experian

(888) 397-3742

P.O. Box 9532

Allen, TX 75013

www.experian.com

TransUnion

(800) 680-7289

Fraud Victim Assistance Division

P.O. Box 6790

Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

www.transunion.com.

Equifax

(800) 525-6285

P.O. Box 74024

Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

www.equifax.com

rmullins@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7919

Twitter: @DailyDeadline

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