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Target Refused To Process Fraud Claim Unless Customer Gave Up Sensitive Info

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – How comfortable would you feel giving Target all your sensitive information right now?

Michael Baxter of Somerville has an answer: “I have no confidence in their security there.”

Baxter and his wife got a call Wednesday.

“They identified themselves as the Target fraud detection department, and there was a suspicious transaction of over $1,200,” Baxter told WBZ-TV.

They called the number on their statement and confirmed it was true. They are among as many as 110 million customers affected by Target’s pre-holiday credit card breach.

But what happened next made Baxter feel like a victim all over again.

Target sent him a questionnaire to fill out and return to process his claim.

It asks for sensitive information like Social Security number, driver’s license number, address, phone numbers, credit card number, children’s names, and more.

“It’s enough information to completely destroy our identities,” said Baxter.

“I was kind of horrified. I kind of thought it was a scam when I looked at the form, because of the kind of information they were asking. I told them they were insane to be asking for it,” he said.

When he refused, the customer service representative told him they could not process his claim without it.

“I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I asked for a manager. That took four or five minutes. The supervisor came on the line and she was even more aggressive with it.”

When we contacted Target, the company changed its tune.

“Our policy is to investigate all fraud claims even if the form is not filled out,” said spokesperson Molly Snyder. “And filling out the form is not a requirement. However, if we don’t have the form filled out it makes our investigation more difficult.”

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office says the form is legitimate, but if customers aren’t getting their claims processed because they’re uncomfortable giving up personal information, they should call the state’s consumer hotline at 617-727-8400.

Target is now offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to customers that shopped at its stores. You will have three months to enroll in the program.

To get your unique activation code for this service, go to creditmonitoring.target.com and register before April 23, 2014.

Activation codes must be redeemed by April 30, 2014.

You can find additional information on Target’s website or call 866-852-8680.

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