Shoppers upset over Target security breach

by Wes Mayer

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It is estimated more that 40 million shoppers had their credit or debit card information stolen after the recent security breach of Target retail stores across the United States.

Most of these shoppers are obviously frustrated — an Associated Press story revealed Target’s stock dropped by 2 percent since news about the breach was released. According to Target in the AP story, customers who made purchases by swiping their cards in U.S. Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have had their accounts exposed. The stolen data included customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the magnetic strip found on the backs of cards.

AP also reported that Target has not revealed how the breach happened but that the problem has been fixed. Target released to AP that it only discovered the problem on Dec. 15, and the company is teaming up with a third-party forensics firm to investigate the issue.

According to the AP, there are almost 1,800 Target stores in the U.S. and 124 in Canada. One of those stores is here in Newnan off Bullsboro Drive in Newnan Crossing West shopping center.

Several local shoppers commented on the security breach: “Our card was compromised this past weekend on three different occasions,” said Katie Keith, a Coweta resident. “We shop at Target all the time, but are unsure if it is related.”

Peggy Tinsley Hall, another Coweta resident, said she shopped at Target and used her credit card, but hasn’t had any problems.

Another resident, who didn’t want to be named, said, “I shopped at Target in that time period, and my credit card was hacked for over $9,000. Luckily my credit card company wrote it off.”

“We have a separate card for online and over-the-counter purchases,” said Kathy Winston. “We put only the [money] we expect to spend on the card. The card has no overdraft protection on it. That way, if anyone gets it, they can only access a small amount of funds. It's worked well so far.”

Target has advised customers to check their statements carefully, the AP reported. Those who see suspicious charges should report them to their credit card companies and call Target at 866-852-8680. Cases of identity theft can also be reported to law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission.

"Target's first priority is preserving the trust of our guests, and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence," said Chairman, President and CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, in the AP story.

Target has also written an important notice with information on what customers should do if they are affected by the security breach. Anyone can view the notice by visiting the link at the top of www.target.com.



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