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Hacker-jacking: Target gets less customer traffic, more people using cash

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The Target hacker-jacking of financial data for forty million customers before Christmas has made shoppers very wary.

And one financial company, J.P. Morgan Chase, is limiting debit card purchases, according to an online article at CNBC, for customers who used debit cards at Target Corp stores during the recent security breach: cash withdrawals cannot exceed $100 a day and purchases may not go over $300 a day.

So, while millions of shoppers who used their bank debit cards at Target stores in the first three weeks of the Christmas shopping season are facing lower limits on how much cash they can take out of teller machines and spend at stores, many are using a budget and plain old cash.

In a video interview with the Wall Street Journal's Shelly Banjo, Retail Reporter, "a huge spike" in people using cash is being witnessed.

Cash, say personal finance experts, is a tried and true method of staying within a pre-set budget for the holiday shopping and avoiding what is called the "holiday hangover" ... when other bills come due in January.

But more bad news was also noted by WSJ for Target:

"We talked with analysts ... the numbers of people shopping at Target were down, where its competitors were up."

The number of transactions at Target have fallen, from 3 to 4 percent, compared with last year's final weekend before Christmas, while transactions at other retailers were strong.

Lawsuits

And from the BBC, it seems Target is being sued "by at least 11 customers" over the security breach that hit more than 40 million customer's cards. Said the story:

"The lawsuits, each seeking class-action status, were filed in US courts in recent days and seen by the BBC."

In a press release from Target, quoting Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target:

“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. We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”

The theft happened between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013, and Target says it alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after it was made aware of the unauthorized access, and is putting all appropriate resources behind these efforts. From the statement by Target this was added:

"Among other actions, Target is partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident."

Customers of Target who suspect unauthorized activity should contact the company at: 866-852-8680.

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