Updated: 01/10/2014 11:26 PM
Created: 01/10/2014 11:10 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri
Banks and credit unions, are taking steps to protect their customers from financial harm, after Target says its security breach was more extensive than first reported.
Friday, Target said millions more customers were affected and other kinds of personal information have been compromised.
According to Target, an investigation found hackers stole personal information from at least 70-million customers and maybe as much as 110-million.
Last month, the company said names, card numbers and other information were stolen from about 40-million credit and debit cards used at Target stores between November 27th and December 15th. Now, the company says phone numbers, mail and email addresses were also stolen.
Target says it will offer a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for people who shopped at its stores. But we found out, banks and credit unions are also taking precautions.
Chase Bank sent out letters to some customers informing them they will be getting new debit cards. The letter says this is happening because their card was identified as "at risk".
Target also sent out letters to customers possibly affected by the breach. Those are people who shopped from November 27th through December 15th.
This afternoon News10NBC sat down with the director of operations at ESL Federal Credit Union to talk to her about what the bank is doing to try and keep their customers safe. I’m told shortly after they learned of the security breach they looked into which customers could be at risk. They found out it was about 20%.
Mary Alice Liotta, Director of Operations at ESL said, "We have fraud tools in place where we can separate those cards and monitor the activity at a higher level and identify potential fraudulent transactions and either stop them or reach out to the member.
ESL says only about one percent of its customers have had fraudulent charge attempts.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
If Target offers you the free credit monitoring, take them up on it, and check it often. Also, be skeptical, if you get a call or e-mail from people claiming to be from Target asking for more information, contact Target directly.
Also, if you shopped at Target between November 27th and December 15th, check your statements often and immediately report anything that isn't correct to your bank.
If you think you are a victim of the breach, you can go to this website: