Target is dealing with another consumer issue this holiday season as some of its gift cards were not fully activated when they were purchased.
This comes as the retail giant continues its investigation into the second-largest credit card hacking in history with 40 million customer accounts compromised.
The topic of the Target data breach was likely discussed at Christmas tables around the country this past week, but there’s a common misconception that while the investigation continues, our part as consumers is complete.
That’s a belief consumer advocates say could keep us at risk going forward.
Forty million credit and debit card accounts were stolen from Target in the period from right before Black Friday through the middle of December.
The initial reaction from many people was to check their statements to make sure there were no erroneous charges on there, but if consumers simply stopped there, they’d continue to be potential victims in the future.
“We’re still learning the extent of that data breach. Those credit card numbers could be resold, resold, resold. The only sure way to know you’re protected and you don’t need to the credit card right now is to cancel it and get a new one,” said Kimberly Hazen with the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.
The Justice Department and the Secret Service are involved in the investigation. There have been no updates on that in the last week.
Consumer advocates say the single best thing you can do, other than getting a new credit or debit card, is to order a free credit report. You are legally allowed one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. It’s the best way to see what’s going on in your name and to catch problems before they get too big.