Nightly News | January 10, 2014
>>> good evening, it was right around christmas time when we learned about the massive data breach at target stores across this country and the theft of a lot of credit and debit card data. it got worse today with word that it is potentially much larger, may not be limited to shoppers this year but may go back several years. and it is possible hackers have tapped into a data base that may include people who don't even shop at target. we could be talking upwards of 10 million people, and this comes as many americans have been forced to change their cards and accounts. nbc's katy tur has more.
>> reporter: if you thought the problem at target over the holidays did not affect you, think again. last month it was credit cards and 40 million people compromised. today, the phones and e-mail addresses, and potentially more, making target one of the largest security breaches ever. aly white, a target shopper found out she had a problem when she got calls from her bank.
>> i got a call asking me if i booked a flight to qatar, i said in the middle east ? she said yes, i said no, absolutely not.
>> reporter: since then, white has had to change all of her credit cards .
>> my life has been very miserable, i didn't think it would be this hard.
>> reporter: but with the credit cards stolen, the information is much worse.
>> if somebody has my phone and e- mail address and much more information they can steal my identity.
>> we call it full-blown identity theft . very likely people will get e-mails that look like they're from target or the fbi, very real-sounding information because they know all of this about you.
>> reporter: on its website, target's ceo issued an apology saying i know it is sfrating for our guests knowing that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this. target is offering free credit monitoring to all the customers at u.s. stores. as for white, she says she still needs to shop.
>> it has changed my mind that every time i swipe my card, i think here we go again.
>> reporter: target is still investigating the scope of the breach. and some experts have concerns that social security numbers could also be at risk, although target said at this point there is no indication that that has happened. as for what you can do to protect yourself if target offers you the free credit monitoring , take them up on it and check it as often as you can as identity theft can be a major problem that lasts for years.
>> chilling information, katy tur, starting us off.