WJTV News Channel 12 - New hacking revelations frustrate Tampa Bay consumers

New hacking revelations frustrate Tampa Bay consumers

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The revelation of the hacking by Neiman Marcus officials added another layer of doubt to a public already stung by the Target holiday fraud. St. Petersburg native Jacqui Gaeta is a victim. Gaeta, who currently lives in South Carolina, shopped at Target the day after Thanksgiving to buy a dress for her grandmother's funeral. She thought she was safe, but received an e-mail from her bank on Saturday telling her that she was hacked.

"I think it's frustrating that people feel the need to steal anything from anyone", Gaeta said. "And especially your money, your livelihood, the thing that makes you able to go about your day".

The financial component may be the tip of the iceberg. Hackers may also have names, phone numbers, e-mails and home addresses, making the possibility of full-blown identity theft something else to consider.

Target has offered one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for customers who've shopped at U.S. stores. Neiman Marcus is working with the Secret Service to try and help them deal with the problem.

Consumers could also be victims of what's called "smishing". That happens when they'll receive texts directing them to call a number or visit a website, which could lead to a malware virus that snatches their information. The sheer scope of the problem, which is closing in on 100 million people possibly being affected, has Gaeta stunned.

"It's gotten so much bigger than what I thought it was going to be originally," Gaeta said. "I thought it was, oh someone stole it, but how are you going to get that money? Really, there's multiple people who have had to go through this situation. And trust me, I feel for them. Especially if they're like me and they're losing their card for a couple of days. Or, if they're even worse off and had money taken from them. That would've been my ultimate anger point. I would've probably gone to Target and had some words".


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