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Alaskans Affected by Target Account Scam

By Adam Pinsker, Multimedia Political Reporter, apinsker@ktuu.com
Published On: Dec 19 2013 08:30:03 PM AKST

As many as 40 million Americans may have been hit by a credit card scam that business leaders say was likely an "inside job."

ANCHORAGE -

Less than a week before Christmas and the Grinch has struck one of the largest retailers in the United States, Target.

The company said in a press release Thursday that shoppers who used debit or credit cards for in-store purchases between November 27th and December 15th, may have had their account information revealed to thieves.

"It sounds like to us, what we heard so far that it was an inside job, and that it was an employee that did it and Target is investigating this to the fullest extent that they can," said Better Business Bureau Spokesperson Michele Tabler.

Target says it's working with a third party forensics team to help prevent incidents like this from happening again.  The Minneapolis based company declined via email to discuss the issue with Channel Two.

If you think you've been victimized, financial experts urge you to contact your banking institution or credit card company immediately.  The scam may have hit 40 million American shoppers, including customers in Alaska.

"We know that some 2,000 First National Bank card account numbers were affected, and that includes debit and credit cards," said Director of Corporate Communications for FNB Cheri Gillian.

A spokesman for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union says they're in the process of contacting customers affected by the breach, but said it's too early to determine how many card holders were victimized.

Northrim is also tallying the damage caused by the scam.  The BBB says if your bank ledger is full of transactions this time of year it may be a good idea to check it frequently even if you didn't shop at Target.

"We suggest that people keep all their receipts and check their receipts against their credit card statements," said Tabler.  "Keep hold of everything, and you need to go line by line. Check with other people that may be on your credit card account, and verify every charge that's on there."

Target did leave a number you can call on it's website, 866-852-8680, if you think your account may have been hacked.

The United States Secret Service also investigates credit card fraud and can be reached at 907-271-5148. the Better Business Bureau can be contacted at 907-562-0714.