Target card fraud strikes WHAS11 newsroom, Kelsey Starks victimized


by Amy Stallings and Jacob Ryan

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 6:32 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)--   The security breach in Target stores across the nation has hit close to home here in the WHAS11 newsroom, as Kelsey Starks fell victim to the credit card fraud.

Starks has a Target Red Card and said she was worried, like a lot of other people, when the news came out about hackers retrieving shopper’s account information.

“When I went to check my account this morning, I found out I was one of the 40 million Americans who had been hacked,” she said.

She has tried to contact store administrators, but like all customers, she gets a busy signal.

An investigation into the culprits and the processing center where Target takes in millions credit and debit transactions is now underway.

Early Friday morning, the Secret Service and a private forensic team began determining how the robberies occurred.  The two organizations are trying to uncover details about the thefts involving nearly 40 million credit and debit cards. 

There has been no report if the thefts were an inside job or possibly from overseas.

Cyber crimes and identity thefts have been on the rise in recent years.  In 2006, hackers stole personal information from nearly 46 million customers of popular stores including TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized should contact the Secret Service or their financial institutions.

The Secret Service said there are some critical tactics consumers should always do to avoid being targeted by hackers and virtual thieves.

Ed Lowery, spokesperson for the Secret Service, said to regularly check credit reports and billing statements, which will allow you to maintain some control and knowledge about what is going on with your finances.

Starks said that even after she found out she was a victim, the difficulties only increased.

“After repeatedly calling the customer service number on my card and online, I kept getting busy signals or disconnected after a recording,” she said.  “Local target stores told me they can’t cancel the card in person because they don’t have access.”

If you think you have been a victim, keep calling or go directly to your bank to stop payments.