40M Target customers` credit card info may be compromised - FOX 32 News Chicago

40M Target customers` credit card info may be compromised

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  • 40M Target customers` credit card info may be compromisedMore>>

  • Reuters: JP Morgan Chase limits some debit card purchases

    Reuters: JP Morgan Chase limits some debit card purchases

    Saturday, December 21 2013 4:28 PM EST2013-12-21 21:28:33 GMT
    JP Morgan Chase & Co announced Saturday that due to the recent security breach at Target, they will be limiting debit card transactions to $100 in cash withdrawals and $300 in total purchases, Reuters reports.
    JP Morgan Chase & Co announced Saturday that due to the recent security breach at Target, they will be limiting debit card transactions to $100 in cash withdrawals and $300 in total purchases, Reuters reports.
MINNEAPOLIS (Associated Press) -

By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO and MICHELLE CHAPMAN - AP Business Writers

Cyber criminals have reportedly stolen millions of Target customers' credit and debit card information. The security breach was first reported by a security blogger.

Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear, on Black Friday. It may still be going on.

The chain said that accounts of customers who made purchases using their cards at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have been exposed. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards.

The Minneapolis company said it immediately told authorities and financial institutions once it became aware of the breach and that it is teaming with a third-party forensics firm to investigate the matter and prevent future breaches. It. said it is putting all "appropriate resources" toward the issue.

Target Corp. advised customers to check their statements carefully. Those who suspect there has been unauthorized activity on their cards should report it 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 didn't say exactly how the data breach occurred, but said it had since fixed the problem and that credit card holders can continue shopping at its stores.

Security experts said a breach like this at one of the largest retailers in the country shows no one is immune from cyber criminals.

News of this breach comes at the height of the holiday shopping season and threatens to scare away shoppers worried about the safety of their personal data.

Target is just the latest retailer to be hit with a data breach problem. TJX Cos., which runs stores such as T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, had a breach that began in July 2005 that exposed at least 45.7 million credit and debit cards to possible fraud. The breach wasn't detected until December 2006. In June 2009 TJX agreed to pay $9.75 million in a settlement with multiple states related to the massive data theft but stressed at the time that it firmly believed it did not violate any consumer protection or data security laws.

An even larger hack hit Sony in 2011. It had to rebuild trust among PlayStation Network gamers after hackers compromised personal information including credit card data on more than 100 million user accounts. Sony was criticized for slowness in alerting users to the breach.

"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. We regret any inconvenience this may cause," Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement Thursday.

Target has 1,797 U.S. stores and 124 in Canada.

To find out more about how this could have happened, and how to prevent it, FOX 32 talked with cybercrime and fraud with Professor Bill Kresse from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, known world-wide as Professor Fraud.

FOX 32 also spoke with a financial expert who said something like this can have a profound effect on the economy, and outlines steps you can take if and when it happens such as checking your credit card activity and changing your pin.

FOX 32 News contributed to this report.

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