Target: 40M accounts may be involved in breach

CREATED Dec. 19, 2013

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Target says about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach.

The chain said Thursday that the accounts may have been impacted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

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.

"It's very simple for someone to hack into the machine and install malicious software," said Carrie Kerskie, an ID theft and data privacy expert.
Today, some customers shopping at the store on US 41 in Fort Myers said they're hesitant to shop in the store.

"I'm not going to be coming back to Target until I know that the security issue has been rectified," said Rick Stoecker, of Fort Myers.

Chris Rivera, of Fort Myers, added, "I just think it's crazy because people swipe their cards thinking their shopping just regularly, and people are just taking their money like it's nothing."

Privacy experts say to request a new card and to immediately report any unauthorized charges. But remember: hackers have your info and they could try to use it even months from now.

"Once the smoke clears, and it's no longer the hot topic, then they'll try to go and use all those credit card numbers at a later time," said Kerskie. "It could be three months, six months, could be nine months down the road."

Target Corp. said that customers who made purchases at its U.S. stores during the impacted period and suspected unauthorized activity should call them at 866-852-8680.

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

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