Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is urging state residents to make use of free credit monitoring Target is offering in the wake of a credit card breach announced last month.

“I would strongly encourage any Target customers, regardless of whether they’ve identified suspicious activity in their personal accounts, to take advantage of this offer,” Fox said Monday.

Target first reported a data breach that included the names, credit and debit card data, and personal identification numbers for 40 million customers in November and December 2013.

After the initial announcement and investigation, the company has since reported a second batch of stolen data that includes the names, addresses and phone numbers of up to 70 million customers.

Target is now offering free credit monitoring for all customers, regardless of whether they were affected or not.

“Additionally, consumers who have not done so already should take the proactive steps of changing their PIN numbers and passwords,” Fox said.

The free credit monitoring will be offered through Experian’s ProtectMyID. The service provides a copy of a credit report, daily credit monitoring, identity theft insurance (except where prohibited by law) and access to personalized assistance from a fraud resolution agent.

Target has provided the following information for consumers looking to take advantage of the program:

• Consumers who shopped in U.S. stores may request an activation code by entering their name and email address at before April 23.

• Consumers will then receive an email from Target within one to five days that will include the unique activation code and instructions on how to register the code with ProtectMyID.

• Consumers will have until April 30 to register their code with ProtectMyID.

• Emails collected during the process of creating activation codes will only be used for the purpose of sending the codes to enroll in free credit monitoring.

Consumers with questions are encouraged to call Target at 1-866-852-8680 or visit

Dylan Chaffin is a journalism major at the University of Montana and a reporting intern for the Missoulian.

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