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Retailers Offer Free Credit Monitoring, ID Theft Protection

Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels are each promising free credit monitoring and identity theft protection in the wake of recent data breaches. 

The Latest from Target

Target's data breach may have affected up to 110 million of its customers. The nation's second largest retailer is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance to anyone who shopped at one of its U.S. stores. 

Request an activation code by April 23, 2014 to sign up for the service.  Those who sign up will receive daily credit monitoring, a copy of their credit report, and identity theft insurance.

During Target's prime holiday shopping season, Nov. 27-Dec. 15, 2013, hackers stole credit and debit card numbers from the retailer, along with other personal information that may have included names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

Target is also warning people of phishing scams, in which fraudsters attempt to collect personal information from people by posing as the retail giant. These scams could appear in the form of emails, texts, phone calls or fake websites.

"We have posted copies of our email communication related to this breach incident to Target.com/databreach, so you can compare any emails you receive to official copies of the emails that Target has distributed," Target's website reads.

Target has a data breach FAQ section on its website with more details on scams.

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Neiman Marcus Breach

In a letter dated Jan. 22, 2014, Neiman Marcus President and CEO Karen Katz said that the company is "notifying ALL customers for whom we have addresses or email who shopped with us between January 2013 and January 2014, and offering one free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection." The deadline to sign up for the service is June 15, 2014.

On Jan. 1, a forensics firm found that the company had been breached using malicious software, compromising some customers' debit and credit cards, according to the Neiman Marcus website.

The breach took place between July 16 and Oct. 30, 2013 and may have compromised 1.1 million credit and debit card accounts.

Michaels Investigation

Michaels Stores says it's unsure whether a data breach occurred at any of its stores, but the nation's largest arts and crafts retailer has issued a warning to its customers.

"As you may have read in the news, data security attacks against retailers have become a major topic of concern. We recently learned of possible fraudulent activity on some U.S. payment cards that had been used at Michaels, suggesting we may have experienced a data security attack," wrote Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin.

The letter goes on to offer additional information, and says that the store will offer identity protection and credit monitoring services at no cost to its affected customers if the investigation uncovers a data breach.

"If we find as part of our investigation that any of our customers were affected, we will provide information on our website on how to sign up for these services," the letter reads. "We will provide updates on our website as our investigation continues. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please call us toll-free at 1- 877-412-7145."

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