NYS Attorney General Addresses Target Security Breach

December 20, 2013 Updated Dec 20, 2013 at 7:45 AM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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December 20, 2013 Updated Dec 20, 2013 at 7:45 AM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW/News Release) - The personal security of millions of holiday shoppers nationwide is at risk, after Target announces a security breach.

The New York Attorney General says many in the Empire State have reported they may be victims of identity theft related to the incident.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is urging Target to give one year of free credit monitoring to anyone who shopped at the store between November 27th and December 15th.

Schneiderman also sent out a release with the following advice:

If you might be a victim:

• Report to any of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Transunion or Experian) that you may been a victim of identity theft. Make sure the credit reporting agency has your current contact information so they can get in contact with you.

• Ask the credit reporting agencies to put a fraud alert on your credit file. This will still allow you to use your credit card. If you put a fraud alert on your file, you're entitled to a free credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies

• You also have a right to put a credit freeze on your credit file. This will block the issuance of any new credit. This means you won't be able to apply for any new credit cards or loans, but you can use your existing cards.

• You should also check your credit activity daily. You don't need to wait for your monthly statement, though you should check that as well. Many banks provide online information to account holders about recent activity.

If you are a victim:

• Create an identity theft fraud report. To create one, file a complaint with the FTC and print your Identity Theft Affidavit. Use that to file a police report and create your Identity Theft Report.

• An Identity Theft Report will help you deal with credit reporting companies, debt collectors and any fraudulent accounts that the ID thief opened in your name.

• Put a freeze (not just a fraud alert) on your credit report. The freeze can only be removed by you. Contact one of the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion or Experian) and tell them you want the freeze on your file.

• Get your credit report from each of the three agencies. You are entitled to free reports once you post a fraud alert or put a freeze on your account. Read the reports carefully to see whether other fraudulent transactions or accounts are listed, and then take steps to correct the errors.

• Check your credit card account daily to look for any irregular activity.