A Target shopper is suing over an alleged data breach that's believed to have affected 40 million customers at Target stores.
The retail giant revealed last week that customers who used credit or debit cards at Target stores between November 27 and December 15 may have had their personal information compromised, reports Bloomberg.
As a result of this data breach, millions of consumers may be wondering what steps to take to protect their private information -- and whether they may also have grounds for a lawsuit.
Was Target Negligent?
The Target data breach lawsuit raises questions about how criminals managed to infiltrate the company's security system. Criminals likely used a computer virus that infected point-of-sale terminals that logged customer information when they swiped their credit or debit cards. This is one of the largest credit card breaches in U.S. history, according to Time.
The lawsuit alleges that Target was negligent in protecting customer data, according to Bloomberg. To be found negligent, it must be proven that Target owed a duty to its customers and breached that duty by failing to act as a reasonable corporation would.
In this case, all companies have a duty to ensure that their customers' private information is closely guarded. Failing to do so may make that company negligent and liable to its customers.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Information?
Now that the data breach has happened, there are some things you can do to protect your information, such as:
- Check your credit and debit card statements diligently for unknown charges or suspicious activity.
- Report fraudulent debit charges to your bank immediately.
- File a police report if you believe you may be a victim of identity theft.
- Contact the card issuer, like Visa or American Express. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, creditors are required to investigate mistakes in billing statements as long as the cardholder has made efforts to resolve the issue with the merchant.
Since Target is the merchant in this case and they are aware of the massive data breach, they should be willing to work with you to resolve any shady charges.
If you think you're a victim of the Target data breach, you may want to consult an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.
- A Message From CEO Gregg Steinhafel About Target's Payment Card Issues (Target)
- Legal How-To: Disputing a Credit Card Charge (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Sony Data Breach Lawsuits Piling Up (FindLaw's Injured)
- Steps You Should Take in Preventing Identity Theft (FindLaw)