H-CENTRAL COAST

Dec 19, 2013 7:08 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Tips for those who used debit/credit card at Target during breached time

If you were one of the Target customers that shopped there between Black Friday and December 15 and used a debit or credit card, a local financial advisor said on Thursday that you should be proactive. He suggested people start checking on their transactions as soon as possible.

"Anytime there's a theft with regards to credit cards, it's a serious situation. And, I think everyone has to handle it with their own personal preferences in terms of anxiety," said San Luis Obispo wealth advisor Patrick O'Hara.

O'Hara said he knows what it's like to be a victim of fraud, and he said it is definitely not fun.

He said, "Someone has taken advantage of or broken through a security gate and gotten your information."

While O'Hara has not come across any local victims of the Target breach quite yet, he said he doesn't want anyone to become one. So, he advises, if you used your debit or credit card at Target between the dates of November 27 and December 15, get in touch with your bank or credit card company right away.

"Most of those companies have some type of fraud monitoring service, so you may be advised to take advantage of that," said O'Hara.

O'Hara said some banks or credit card companies may ask you to cancel your card and order a new one, which may not be easy for some during this busy holiday season.

He said, "I would say it's going to be an inconvenience."

O'Hara said if you do notice a fraudulent charge on your card, report it immediately. But, unfortunately, getting your money back won't happen as fast, said O'Hara.

"It really depends on the credit card company and who's responsible for that liability, if you will, the fraudulent charge, the credit card company will typically enter an investigation once a request has been made regarding a fraud. And, that could take anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks," said O'Hara.

O'hara said people should continue to be proactive months down the line, because a fraudulent charge could still pop up months from now. NBC News reports that, essentially, Target would be responsible for paying for the fraudulent charges when they fail.

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