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Target's statement to customers on massive data breach

Retailer provides detailed steps payment card users can take

By Network World Staff, Network World
December 19, 2013 09:00 AM ET

Network World - From retailer Target on December 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

We wanted to make you aware of unauthorized access to Target payment card data. The unauthorized access may impact guests who made credit or debit card purchases in our U.S. stores from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15, 2013. Your trust is a top priority for Target, and we deeply regret the inconvenience this may cause. The privacy and protection of our guests’ information is a matter we take very seriously and we have worked swiftly to resolve the incident.

We began investigating the incident as soon as we learned of it. We have determined that the information involved in this incident included customer name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and CVV (the three-digit security code).

+ Also on NetworkWorld: The Worst Security SNAFUS of 2013 | Target reveals data breach compromised up to 40 million customer payment cards +

We are partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and to examine additional measures we can take that would be designed to help prevent incidents of this kind in the future. Additionally, Target alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after we discovered and confirmed the unauthorized access, and we are putting our full resources behind these efforts.

We recommend that you closely review the information provided in this letter for some steps that you may take to protect yourself against potential misuse of your credit and debit information. You should remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by regularly reviewing your account statements and monitoring free credit reports.  If you discover any suspicious or unusual activity on your accounts or suspect fraud, be sure to report it immediately to your financial institutions.  In addition, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) or law enforcement to report incidents of identity theft or to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft.  To learn more, you can go to the FTC’s Web site, at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or call the FTC, at (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338) or write to Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.

You may also periodically obtain credit reports from each nationwide credit reporting agency.  If you discover information on your credit report arising from a fraudulent transaction, you should request that the credit reporting agency delete that information from your credit report file.  In addition, under federal law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies.  You may obtain a free copy of your credit report by going to www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228.  You may contact the nationwide credit reporting agencies at:
Equifax                                               Experian                                    TransUnion
(800) 525-6285                                (888) 397-3742                         (800) 680-7289
P.O. Box 740241                              P.O. Box 9532                           Fraud Victim Assistance Division
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241                    Allen, TX 75013                         P.O. Box 6790
www.equifax.com                               www.experian.com                  Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
                                                                                                                www.transunion.com.
In addition, you may obtain information from the FTC and the credit reporting agencies about fraud alerts and security freezes. You can add a fraud alert to your credit report file to help protect your credit information.  A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, but it also may delay your ability to obtain credit.  You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies listed above.  As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two agencies, which then must also place fraud alerts in your file.  In addition, you can contact the nationwide credit reporting agencies regarding if and how you may place a security freeze on your credit report to prohibit a credit reporting agency from releasing information from your credit report without your prior written authorization.

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