Target e-mailing customers in wake of card breach - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Target claims breach "eliminated;" e-mailing customers

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The breach is fixed. At least that's what the boss says.

Friday, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel announced the data breach that compromised millions of customers' payment card information nationwide "...has been identified and eliminated." He did not explain why or how the breach happened.

"To provide guests with extra assurance, we will be offering free credit monitoring services," said Steinhafel. "We will be in touch with those impacted by this issue soon on how and where to access the service."

Target will attempt to e-mail customers whose credit, debit or Target "red" cards may have been compromised.

In an e-mail to The Action News 5 Investigators, Target spokesperson Molly Snyder said the company will only e-mail customers whose e-mail addresses are already on file. It will also only e-mail customers whom they can establish actually used their cards at a Target store during the period of the breach.

"It is very important for our guests to understand that receiving an email from us or a letter from their financial institution is absolutely not an indication that there has been, or will be, fraud on their card," Snyder said.

Thursday, Target confirmed a massive data breach of potentially 40 million customer accounts. It said the breach affects customers who used any payment card at any Target store between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

The breach did not impact online purchases, according to the retailer. The Action News 5 Investigators reported Thursday the Minneapolis-based chain may have violated payment card industry standards (for that story, please click here).

The Action News 5 Investigators also discovered some financial institutions may be sharing inaccurate information with account-holders who may have been victims of the breach.

"I called my financial institution and was told that the breach only involved the Target red cards that are somehow tied to your debit/credit card and give you 5 percent back," e-mailed Carla Lindley of Drummonds, TN.

That is inaccurate. Right now, the Target data breach potentially compromised any card -- credit, debit or red card -- used at any Target store during the breach period.

Snyder said the breach did not compromise customers' personal identification (PIN) numbers, birth dates or Social Security numbers. 

She added that Target has provided VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover all of their customers' card numbers that may be at risk.

 

Target customers who fear their information was compromised:

* CHECK YOUR DEBIT/CREDIT CARD STATEMENTS. Look for any unusual or unauthorized charges.

* CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT FOR UNAUTHORIZED ACTIVITY. Only use AnnualCreditReport.com to pull a free annual credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, EquiFax, TransUnion). Consider adding a fraud alert to your credit report if there is evidence of tampering with your credit identity.

IF YOU DISCOVER UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES, CALL YOUR BANK FIRST, YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANIES SECOND. CALL THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY WHERE YOU LIVE IF EITHER YOUR BANK OR YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY REQUIRES A POLICE REPORT.

* USE CASH OR CREDIT CARDS ONLY IN FUTURE PURCHASES. Credit cards, unlike debit cards, have built-in insurance features. By federal law, you are never liable for more than $50 of any disputed credit card charge, and most credit cards now offer zero liability.

* IGNORE UNSOLICITED CALLS FROM PEOPLE CLAIMING TO BE FROM TARGET. Target personnel will not contact customers directly in this case. Any calls will be from impostors trying to use the breach to steal your personal information.


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