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Millions of Target customers affected in security breach

Published 5:29pm Friday, December 20, 2013

After a major data breach affected Target retailers, banks around the country are letting customers know what they need to do in order to protect their information.

Target recently announced that information from about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been stolen between the week of Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause,” Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Target said in a press release. “We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”

Among other actions, Target is partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.

Though there is no Target retailer located in Tallapoosa County, Mutual Savings Credit Union is one of many organizations, banks and businesses alerting customers on steps they can take to protect their account information.

“Mutual Savings Credit Union is aware of the data breach suffered by Target and impacting their consumers,” the company said in a press release. “Right now, we are currently waiting on information from VISA to identify any MSCU accounts that may have been impacted. If your account has been compromised, you are not responsible for the loss of funds.”

Mutual Savings is also taking steps to help counter any accounts that have been compromised:

- Transactions like a VISA purchase – one that would require a signature, will have a lower purchasing limit. The maximum daily limit will be lowered to $250 per day.

- MSCU will immediately orders a new debit card for customers compromised account.

- Once the new debit card arrives and is activated, MSCU will cancel the compromised card, and customers can resume normal activities with normal daily purchasing limits.

- In addition, the daily ATM withdrawal limits will be lowered to $100 until the new card is activated.

Aliant Bank chief executive officer Harlan Parrish said customers who shopped at Target should keep a close eye on their account activity.

“It’s imperative that anyone who shopped at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 watch their accounts closely for any unusual charges. It’s generaly important to watch the account through online banking if you have that or local banking,” Parrish said. “If there’s anything unusual, notify your bank immediately. All of our locations have been briefed on what to do and how to help out the customers regarding this situation.”

Guests who suspect unauthorized activity should contact Target at 866-852-8680.

Alexander City’s MSCU can be contacted at 256-234-3821.

Aliant Bank’s call center can be contacted at 1-866-888-8330.