Security breach on local Target shoppers' minds

Posted at: 12/19/2013 1:48 PM
Updated at: 12/19/2013 6:08 PM
By: WNYT Staff

LATHAM -- Many Target shoppers in Capital Region are keeping their fingers crossed as they check their bank and credit card statements. It's not the kind of news they wanted to hear, adding to the stress of the holidays. Some felt a little uneasy swiping their cards Thursday at Target after word spread about a data breach.

"I'm a little nervous," Denise Pirri told Newschannel 13. "I'm a little scared to know that someone else could have my information, be taking that and using my money, withdrawing money from my bank account."

The information of about 40 million Target customers who used their credit or debit cards in stores nationwide, may have been compromised, according to Target. The data breach did not affect online purchases, the company said.

"It wouldn't be the first time my security card from Target has been breached," said Lisa Merolle, a frequent shopper at Target in Latham.

Merolle said the last time her credit card information was stolen, the thieves went shopping. She hopes she's spared this time around.

"When I heard about it, it would have been nice to know about it sooner than now because it seems like it happened a couple of weeks ago," Merolle said.

GreyCastle Security, a cyber security company out of Troy said this appears to be a major breach. The Capital Region has numerous Target stores, it's likely, GreayCastle business developer Mike Stamas said, local residents will be affected.

"I think it's going to be a massive impact. Usually as these investigations go on, the reach of the impact tends to grow significantly," Stamas said.

While many are worried, some say it's part of life in the twenty first century. We just have to deal with it.

"We live in an electronic world," said Target shopper Bonnie Richter. "There's just nothing you can do about it. As soon as you have an identity online, you're just subject to having your identity stolen, your bank accounts hacked. It's just part of the world we live in."

The best advice right now is to watch your bank and credit card accounts very closely.  GreyCastle Security said use a credit card whenever possible because purchases are better protected.