Peoria shoppers caught up in Target data breach

By WEEK Producer

December 23, 2013 Updated Dec 23, 2013 at 11:25 PM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- Peoria shoppers have found themselves caught up in the national credit card data breach which
hit Target Stores.

Holders of local bank credit cards have been told to contact their banks if they shopped at Target, while others have had their debit cards a precaution.

It couldn't have come at a worse time for Target...the busiest shopping period of the year. Target is offering discounts and apologies and promising customers "zero liability for any charges that you didn't make." Plus "free credit monitoring to everyone who was impacted."

Many security experts agree that it's unfair to blame the retailer. Easy-to-copy magnetic strips make U-S cards vulnerable to attack. More secure digital chips are used in most other countries.

"Smart chip cards have proven to be much safer in other countries that have already adopted this technology," said Randy Vanderhoof, Smart Card Alliance. "They've seen fraud rates drop by as much as 67%."

Until recently, U.S. card companies had held off switching to the more expensive chips. Now,we could see all major retailers accepting them by late 2015.