Protecting your identity following data breach

Several mid-Missourians are waiting for new credit and debit cards following a pre-holiday data breach at Target.

A massive data breach at national retail giant Target has expanded to 70 million customers, leaving many people feeling on edge about using their debit and credit cards.

Angelica Randall of Columbia spent about 75 cents at Target between November 27th and December 15th; a big hassle for such a small charge.

Luckily, she didn't lose any money in the scam.

"They had sent out a new card to me but they sent it to the wrong address so I had to go in person to request a new card after that. I was very fortunate and I've always been very dilligent about checking my accounts daily because just because my parents have both had their identities stolen," said Randall.

Tipton resident Patsy Reed bought birthday gifts for her grandson and was surprised to get a call from her bank saying she would be getting new cards.

"I think I'm going back to cash purchases. Before going shopping I'll just get some cash out or use my credit card because it has a lot more fraudulent protection than a debit card,"

said Reed.

If you think you could be a victim of identity theft, Dana Alderman, Vice President of Member Development at River Region Credit Union, said to call your bank immediately.

"What happens is that the minute you contact your institution or your vendor and let them know, they are canceling that card and account. And the beautiful thing is, River Region Credit Union, other local banks, your vendors that you do business long as you're letting them know in a timely manner that you have fraud on your account, the member or customer is not going to be liable for those charges, so they are protected."

Alderman said to keep a close eye on your bank statements by checking them frequently, and also check your credit report regularly to make sure your credit is secure.

Alderman reminds consumers to make sure your passwords are not the same or specific to your passwords are not the same or specific to your personal information, and keep your documents in a safe place. Do not carry your social security card with you.