Connects Against Crime

Connects Against Crime

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Updated: Thursday, December 19 2013, 11:09 PM CST

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - Tens of millions of holiday shoppers may have had their personal information stolen after a security breach at the major retailer Target.

The company announced the problem late Wednesday night.

Target says the breach involves stolen credit and debit card information. The retailer says it is working closely with law enforcement and financial institutions.

Eastern Iowa shoppers reacted Thursday to the news their information may be compromised.

“I think that's really scary, because if it can happen to them it can happen to everybody,” shopper Marla Kilburg said.

“I guess we need to go home and make sure everything is OK there,” her daughter Tara Feller added.

With so many potential victims out there, from the Target breach, law enforcement says check with your own bank or Credit Card Company.

They say pay attention to every purchase, not just the big ones.  

“They start small and see if it's going to go through then make a bigger purchase,” said Colonel John Stuelke with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.  

There isn't much shoppers could have done to stop the breach, but you can decrease your overall chances of becoming a fraud victim.

Paying with cash should always be a first option, but if you can’t…   “It's probably better to use a credit card than a debit card,” Stuelke said, “Credit card has more protection on it.” 

While everybody has a method for protecting their card, some scammers don't even need to swipe it.

All they need is the card number, and the three digit code on the back.

With malls crowds getting thicker, now is the time to watch your back at the checkout counter. 

“Make sure you're concealing the number on your card, you don't want somebody standing over your shoulder,” Stuelke said.


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