BUSINESS

Target breach: Hack more extensive than previously reported

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(WJLA) - Target stores aren’t the only place where your credit cards may have been breached. Neiman Marcus has announced that its database of credit card customers was happened in mid-December.

Officials are not yet sure if the two incidents are related.

The Target breach, however, is now bigger than we knew – one in three Americans need to check their records, as the hack is being called the “largest theft of personal data in history.”

Customer Torri Hughes says she doesn't use cash too often, but thinks she might start.

"If [cards are] not secure, what other option do we have?" she asks,

In addition to card information, criminals may also have your name, home address, phone numbers, and email address. And it isn’t just those who shopped at Target over the holidays who are at risk – it’s customers who shopped there “at any point in the past.”

Target’s CEO has apologized to customers and offered a year of free credit monitoring as well as identity theft protection to anyone who wants it.

Meanwhile, credit card experts at CreditSesame.com are urging customers to get new credit cards and pin numbers immediately; there is the danger that info is currently being marketed in so-called underground black market websites where thieves buy and sell information.

Another option is to freeze your credit reports with each individual credit agency. This way, if a crook has your personal information, he or she cannot open any kind of credit with your name.

In D.C., this service costs $10 per agency; in Virginia, $5. Maryland is $10.

Experts recommend not waiting for something to happen to deal with the issue, but to take caution beforehand.

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