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Target says up to 40 million customers may be affected by data breach

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Target customers beware: Your personal information may have been stolen due to a data breach between November 27 and December 15, according to an article published by the Washington Post on December 19, 2013.

Target admits to a breach in data security that could affect as many as 40 million customers. The problem began right around the start of the holiday shopping season and continued for approximately three weeks. The exposed information includes debit and credit card numbers, card expiration dates, customer names, and even the three- digit security codes on the back of the cards.

Target says the exposure did not include online data. Only those customers who shopped in its brick & mortar stores face potential problems. All debit and credit cards, including Target’s own credit card, are part of the data exposure.

Management at Target is not sure how the data breach occurred, but say the problem has been resolved and customers can shop at Target stores like usual, without worry. The company has hired a forensic firm to investigate and recommend additional measures to prevent future fraud. In the meantime, Target has reassured that the problem is behind it and customers can shop with confidence.

Customers are advised to check their personal account statements for possible fraudulent charges and report them to their credit card issuer immediately. Once that step is complete, Target is asking customers to call its own customer service line at 866-852-8680.

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