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Lawmakers In Washington Calling For Investigation Into Target Data Breach

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WASHINGTON (WJZ) — There are calls for a federal investigation in the Target data breach that’s left 110 million customers exposed to potential fraud.

Monique Griego has more on a possible problem, and a warning from Maryland’s attorney general.

State leaders say customers need to try to protect themselves. That can mean changing your passwords, a pin numbers or getting a whole new card altogether.

With the number of customers affected by the Target data breach now at 110 million, Maryland’s attorney general is urging anyone whose information may have been compromised to keep a very close eye on their credit and bank accounts.

“They don’t go out and use your information to buy a new car. But they do incremental buys, small purchases that actually add up, and they hope you don’t see it,” Md. Attorney General Doug Gansler said.

Last week, the company announced the hackers that stole the credit and debit card information for 40 million holiday shoppers also got away with the personal information of an additional 70 million customers.

While not as sensitive, the information included names, addresses, phone numbers and emails.

After the breach widened, Target began offering free credit monitoring for a year to customers who shopped there between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

“What we’re asking people to do is to take advantage of Target’s offer to do free credit monitoring and make sure that they actually look at their credit report,” said Gansler.

Maryland lawmakers say Congress is also now calling for action. They’ll be holding a congressional hearing to look into the breach.

“What we’re going to do is try to figure out what happened, how it happened. We want to find out what they’re doing about it,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings, (D) Maryland. “Also, figure out what took them so long to provide notification to some of their customers.”

Cummings says Target has agreed to cooperate with the investigation. He hopes getting some answers can renew customer confidence.

“It’s not just about protecting our constituents, it’s also about making sure that our economy flows,” said Cummings.

If you’re interested in signing up for free credit monitoring, click here. 

Maryland is one of eight states that is participating in an executive committee that is also investigating the breach.

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