Target data breach hitting home in Tampa Bay

6:03 PM, Dec 20, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Shoppers come and go from this St. Pete Target store but the giant retailer has lost at least one local customer.

Robert, who didn't want his last name used, suspects he's one of the 40 million Target customers whose credit card information was snagged by criminal hackers. "I wouldn't wish this on anybody," he said from his St. Pete home, just blocks away from a Target store.

Robert's problems started Thursday when he was buying some fencing and his debit card was rejected. "That's when I knew I was compromised," he explained.

Sure enough, when Robert checked his online statement there were seven fraudulent purchases made at Wal Mart, to the tune of $800.

Robert quickly canceled his card and he'll be reimbursed, but until that happens, money will be tight over the Christmas Holidays. "I'll make it," Robert said. "It's just not any fun sitting there knowing you're basically broke."

The Better Business Bureau advises people to carefully check their online statements, cancel compromised cards and be wary of other scammers who will now try and take advantage of the Target trouble.

"They're going to send out phishing emails, phishing attacks, they'll be calling you on the phone claiming they're from your local bank or Target, claiming they need more information and trying to pull more data from you," warns the BBB's Bryan Oglesby.

More tips for Target shoppers and businesses concerned about their own security can be found on the BBB website.

The fallout of this data breach could last for months and the experience has left Robert with a bitter Target taste. Asked if he'll ever shop there again, he responds with a simple "no".

According to CNN, Target is now offering a 10% discount for all shoppers this Saturday and Sunday. 

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