Target Data Breach Reaches Further Than Orignially Reported

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COLUMBIA - Retail chain, Target released new information Friday stating the company's data breach prior to the Christmas holiday reached about 70 million customers. Further investigation revealed scammers obtained personal information from shoppers in addition to stolen banking information. Target said scammers got home addresses, personal phone numbers and email address information of about 70 million people.

The Better Business Bureau said a data breach could affect any company and its customers. The BBB cautions people to protect their personal information from scammers who may attempt to use the Target data breach as an open door for access to vulnerable people. It also encourages people to withhold account information if contacted by an unaccredited person willing to help "find a solution."

BBB Mid-Missouri Regional Director, Mike Harrison suggested people especially withhold personal information over the phone.

"If you get an unsolicited phone call like that be very cautious and dealing with those folks because a lot of times they ask you to confirm personal information," said Harrison.

Harrison also said shoppers should monitor their credit and debit card transactions.

"As a consumer, it's just always good to be proactive," Harrison said.

Shoppers are encouraged to pay close attention to debit cards because unlike credit card accounts, scammers could directly withdraw funds from personal bank accounts. Credit cards charges can be reversed.

Target is assisting customers with identity theft protection. The company is offering free credit monitoring to its customers.

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