Jonesboro shoppers fall victim to Target data breach

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – All some people will want for Christmas this year is a new credit card.

Target said a massive data breach caused about 40 million customers to have their credit and debit card numbers stolen. The big box chain claimed that customers may have had their accounts compromised if they've used their cards between November 27 and December 15 – the prime holiday shopping season.

Centennial Bank in Jonesboro has already had a few fraud victims come forward on Thursday. The shoppers reportedly found suspicious charges on their cards after swiping their cards at Target during the past few weeks.

"Everything is very preliminary right now, but I do believe we've had that through this breach some of our customers' card numbers got compromised," said Jay Clevenger, a Centennial Bank vice president. "We're going through this process now trying to verify that and identify how many [victims] there actually are."

Clevenger said people should check their bank accounts and credit card statements carefully for any unusual charges.

"With technology the way it is today, you can use mobile banking, Internet banking, just even calling the branch to see if you've had any unusual activity," he said. "We encourage you to always reconcile your bank statement because there are timelines that you have to be able to report fraud on your account, so we want to make sure that you get things in a timely manner."

He advises anyone that spots something suspicious to immediately contact their bank and get the card canceled.

"Just be very diligent of making sure you're tracking your expenses and what you put out there so that you can reconcile it in a timely manner," Clevenger said.

He also strongly recommends that anyone who has shopped at Target recently should get a new bank card to guarantee their financial security.

"If you were there and used your card during that time frame [of November 27 and December 15]," Clevenger said, "I would go ahead and cancel it because you could prevent any future that's on your account."

Target is unsure how this data breach happened, but would like to reassure customers that the store has now fixed this problem.

Anyone who sees a suspicious charge should report it to their bank, their credit card company or by calling Target at 1-866-852-8680.

To find out more information about the unauthorized access to payment cards at its U.S. stores, follow this link.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.