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Hackers Access Credit & Debit Card Data for 40M Target Shoppers + 70M More - UPDATED

submitted on December 19, 2013 by HouTex in "Stores / Merchants", last updated on January 10, 2014 by HouTex
More information in comments

Sometime around Black Friday a breach occurred at Target stores nationwide, potentially affecting 40 million customers, possible extending through December 15. Only in-store transactions are affected, and the U.S. Secret Service is investigating. It affects all major card brands, but most of them shield cardholders from unauthorized purchases with a zero-liability protection policy.
A breach of credit and debit card data at discount retailer Target may have affected as many as 40 million shoppers who went to the store in the three weeks after Thanksgiving.

Target said customers should now stay on the lookout for fraud and identity theft and contact their banks and the Federal Trade Commission if they notice anything suspicious. Shoppers were cautioned to regularly check their account statements and free credit reports; the chain even suggested setting up fraud alerts.

  • 187801
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    Posted by steve_05 on December 20, 2013
    [reply] 1 0
    We take this crime seriously. It was a crime against Target, our team members, and most importantly, our guests. We’re in this together, and in that spirit, we are extending a 10% discount – the same amount our team members receive – to guests who shop in U.S. stores on Dec. 21 and 22.
  • 188146
    Posted by HouTex on December 27, 2013
    [reply] 1 0
    Although Target first reported that no PIN data had been compromised, they now confirm that PIN data for their customers' ATM cards was indeed part of the data stolen. Their statement assures customers that the PINs were encrypted and that they "remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure."

    All Target customers whose accounts have been compromised are advised to replace their cards immediately.

    Also - See 5 Lessons Learned here, you may be shocked to learn the truth -

    1. Credit cards offer better fraud protection than debit cards
    2. Free credit monitoring will not protect Target victims
    3. Security freeze will not protect Target victims
    4. Changing the PIN will not prevent use of stolen cards at stores
    5. Choosing "credit" instead of "debit" when you use the card does not make you less vulnerable
  • 188182
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    Posted by clover on December 28, 2013 [reply] 0 0
    Thank you for the update HouTex. I changed my red card pin but will get a new card when I get back.
    • HouTex
      Posted by HouTex on December 28, 2013
      [reply] 1 0
      I think the biggest risk is for the ATM or debit cards, because changing the PIN on those does not make them safe from the thieves to continue using them as credit cards.

      It is terrible that this is turning out to be such a disaster for Target at their busiest season, it could have happened to any store. Unless, of course, we find out that their security measures were not as good as other stores....
  • 188894
    Posted by HouTex on January 10, 2014 [reply] 0 0
    Further investigation resulted in more information being released about the Target data breach that occurred over Black Friday week-end through the middle of December. In addition to the credit and debit card numbers with 3-digit security codes, hackers also obtained names, phone numbers, mailing addresses or e-mail addresses of Target customers who shopped in the store. At this time, they report that online shoppers were not affected.

    The Washington Post says an additional 70 million customers are affected , bringing the total to 110 million.
    Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to shoppers whose payment data was stolen. Customers are not liable for any fraudulent charges made to their cards as a result of the breach.
    See also the New York Times article -
  • 188898
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    Posted by mdshopper1 on January 10, 2014 [reply] 0 0
    it just keeps getting worse and worse....i wonder what problems they have NEXT week? it will be quite interesting to see how this will affect their business online and in stores.
  • 189271
    Posted by HouTex on January 17, 2014 [reply] 0 0
    Eeek I just heard from a friend of mine that this breach is indeed worse than we know. Target notified them that their credit card information was included in the compromised group, but they had not shopped at Target since Back to School. So it appears the hackers have gotten into many more records stored by Target and not just those for shoppers who were in the store Black Friday weekend plus a couple of weeks since.

    Then today I got a message, too! They included a link for free credit monitoring:
    I am writing to make you aware that your name, mailing address, phone number or email address may have been taken during the intrusion.
    I am truly sorry this incident occurred and sincerely regret any inconvenience it may cause you. Because we value you as a guest and your trust is important to us, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring to all Target guests who shopped in U.S. stores, through Experian’s® ProtectMyID® product which includes identity theft insurance where available. To receive your unique activation code for this service, please go to and register before April 23, 2014. Activation codes must be redeemed by April 30, 2014.

    Maybe they just decided to notify everybody..... Roll Eyes
  • 189317
    Posted by YanBz on January 18, 2014 [reply] 0 0
    We got an email as well with a link to the free credit monitoring. The funny thing is I am still on free monitoring I got after another breach with a different business.
    • roxytang
      10 7 2
      Posted by roxytang on January 19, 2014
      [reply] 1 0
      I got the same email. Makes me wary to do credit monitoring with any affiliate of Target.
  • 199324
    Posted by HouTex on June 13, 2014 [reply] 0 0
    Add 2600 locations of Sally Beauty to the list, apparently I missed it at the time back in March 2014 -

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