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Federal officials remind consumers to keep an eye on credit card statements


WASHINGTON, DC. (WSAU) -- Even as federal officials continue to probe exactly what caused a massive breach of credit card records at Target, consumer protection officials are reminding everyone to keep an eye on their money and information.

Gail Hillebrand with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says you should always be checking your statements each time you get them. "If you see something on your statement and you didn't make that charge, especially if it's on your bank account, it's very important to report that to your bank. They can then do some fraud monitoring and watch for it."

Despite Target being the big name in breaches right now, Hillebrand says data theft and scams happen all the time. The best defense against them is vigilance. "Watch your statements carefully, report any problems that you have. You do have the right to get an erroneous charge removed from your credit card, and you have the right to get your money back if it was stolen electronically out of your checking account."

But sometimes monthly statements just aren't enough. Hillebrand says consumers should consider getting online filing with their banks or their credit agency. "If you don't see them online, you might want to think about signing up for online so you can take a good look at your account on a regular basis and see if anything is going off the rails with it."

If you are having problems with your credit card or think you've been a victim of fraud, call your bank. If that doesn't help, contact the CFPB at their tipline, 855-411-2372.