Locals affected by Target credit/debit card data breach - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Locals affected by Target credit/debit card data breach

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Millions of people have been affected by the credit card breach at Target this holiday season, including thousands in our area. It's one of the largest data thefts in U.S. history, and it's left a sour taste with some customers. Angry Target customers across the country have banded together to file class action lawsuits against the company.

The Secret Service and Department of Justice are still investigating how the breach happened. Here in the Tennessee Valley, it's left many folks with worry and without a bank card.

"Kind of shocked us and at Christmas, you panic because you think that's our money we work hard for and how soon are we going to get it back," Athens resident Kim Arnold said.

Kim Arnold had her debit card number hijacked after shopping at a Chattanooga Target on Thanksgiving Day.

"Before we went to bed on Christmas night I noticed it had hit our account," Arnold said.

Someone took hundreds of dollars from her account, oddly enough, the Grinch used it at a Toys R Us in California.

"It's a big hit. Everybody works hard for their money," Arnold said.

She's thankful her credit union quickly replenished her account, though they told her it could be a couple months before she gets a new card due to there being so many that needed re-issued.

"It's like six different types of cards for our bank that were affected," First Tennessee Bank's W. Keith Sanford said.

First Tennessee Bank hopes to get new cards in the hands of nearly 50,000 customers this week. They sent letters to everyone who shopped at Target between November 27 and December 15th.

"Its better safe than sorry," Sanford said.

Though this is one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history, Sanford says it's constantly happening on a smaller scale. Even his family fell victim to it on Cyber Monday this year. The best you can do to protect yourself from losing out on money, is to keep a close watch on your account year-round.

"You never know how people are going to get that number, you just be careful with your card, your pin number and then look at your account," Sanford said.

Some Channel 3 Facebook friends stand with many across the country who say they won't shop at Target anymore. Others, like Kim Arnold, say it just changes how they'll pay.

"I actually have been back to Target, but I used cash," Arnold said.

Most banks have already taken proactive steps to notify its customers about the breach and are re-issuing cards. If you have not been notified but suspect your card could've been part of the theft, contact your bank. They can check a list of all the card numbers that were at risk of being stolen.

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