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  • Click to view bmerrill's profile
    Posted February 17, 2014 by
    bmerrill
    Location
    Boise, Idaho

    Target Threatens Fraud Victims With Ruined Credit

     
    I have a friend who has a Target Red Card, which apparently functions like a debit card, with the added benefit of additional savings on Target purchases. When the Target security breach was announced before Christmas, she immediately checked her account for any problems. Sure enough, she saw two transactions that were not her own, so she called her bank and they promised to reverse the charges.

    All good, right?

    Today, Target Check Services called her demanding that she file a police report for the fraudulent use of her card. If she does not, they say that the transactions will be reported as unpaid debt on her credit report. I found this hard to believe, so I asked her for the phone number from which they called. I looked the number up on Google and found that it was, in fact, Target Check Services. 800-635-4713.

    I checked the public web site of Target, which clearly states that consumers impacted by the fraud with not be held liable. It says nothing about police reports being required by fraud victims.

    Something is amiss.

    So I decide to call the number. First off, the phone tree greeting asks me to enter a "control number" off of their recent correspondence or to "enter my bank account number." This seems like a subtle phishing expedition on their part, but perhaps it helps them find the relevant account. Well, I finally entered a fake number and get a human on the phone.

    You've got to be kidding me?!

    It turns out that everything my friend told me was true. They want a police report, and they want the report number phoned into them immediately. The rep confirmed that if the report was not filed, that a negative event would appear on the consumers credit report. The rep could not give a place on the public web site that supplied this information, and admitted that it probably was not publically available information.

    Isn't it enough that Target could not prevent the security breach? Is it really necessary for Target to ask thousands, if not millions of people to file police reports? Don't most of us believe that our local police have something more important to do with their time? How can we ever hope to keep the cost of government down if corporations demand this type of inefficiency? What will Target do with a million police reports?

    More importantly, why will Target ruin the credit of a consumer that used their Red Card in good faith?

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