The Secret Service is investigating the theft of credit card and debit card data at Target stores. Target says about 40-million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by the data breach, which apparently occurred between November 27th and December 15th. Experts say that the stolen information could be used to make fake credit cards, which could then be used to withdraw cash from ATMs if PIN numbers were taken. Target is reportedly teaming with a third-party forensics firm to investigate the matter as well. The Minnesota-based chain has nearly 18-hundred stores in the US.
Several local area banks are warning their customers to beware of so-called “Vishing” scams. Vishing involves voicemail, phone recordings, text messages or e-mail being used to get customer account information. Often the Vishing messages look or sound like actual communications from your bank, and they instruct customers to send back bank account and credit card numbers, debit card and ATM PINs, and other account information. Community State Bank, Frandsen Bank and Trust, MinnStar Bank, and Bremer Bank have all issued warnings to their customers about numerous reports of Vishing messages in our region. Officials say that banks will never ask you to send account information over the phone, by email, or by text message.