WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The news that the credit and debit card information of 40 million Target customers had been compromised did not stop shoppers from visiting the store Thursday.
"I just used my card," said Miriam Verna of New Rochelle as she finished shopping at the Mount Vernon Target. She said that the news did not make her nervous about visiting the store. "I checked my bill. I only spent $17. I needed to buy three sweatshirts, where else am I going to get them?"
The Mount Vernon store, located on East Sanford Boulevard, is one of three Target locations in Westchester County. The other two are in Mount Kisco on North Bedford Road and in White Plains on City Place.
Target confirmed Thursday that someone had gained unauthorized access to the card information of customers who made purchases nationwide between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The information taken included customers' names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes. The store chain has alerted authorities and financial institutions, and is now working with a third-party forensics firm to investigate the matter.
"I think it's pretty terrible. It's unfortunate for the people affected and it's unfortunate when things happen," said shopper Al Piascik. He also used his credit card to make his purchases. "I'm definitely more aware, and will make sure to keep my eye on the statement when it comes in."
Other customers like Steve Sherwood of Mount Vernon were more cautious when they went shopping.
"We used cash, we didn't use a credit card," he said. "We heard about the scam on the radio and it made us pretty nervous."
Natalie Walters of New Rochelle was not nervous about using her card at the store.
"It happens," she said. Walters makes sure that she pays her bill with checks and diligently checks her statements to reduce the risk of people getting her information. "If you have a good bank and a good credit card company, you don't have much to worry about."
If you are worried that your information has been compromised, or want to prevent identity theft, you should regularly review your statements and free credit reports. If you find any suspicious or fraudulent activity, contact your credit card company. You can also report incidents to the Federal Trade Commission through their website or by calling 1-877-438-4338.
If you are the victim of identity theft, you can request that the credit reporting agency delete the transactions from your credit report file. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report every year from one of three nationwide credit reporting agencies by visiting Annualcreditreport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228.
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