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Target facing huge backlash over security breach

Target security breach
Photo credit: KARE-Bea Chang

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After reporting a credit and debit card data security breach on Wednesday, Target is facing huge backlash from customers who are seeking to find out if their information is at risk.

The discount retailer’s breach is one of the largest in history, with as many as 40 million people affected, according to CNN Money.

“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,” CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause.”

Two days later, people are still trying to get answers, lashing out on Target’s Facebook page.

Target FB statement

Target posted on its website, “Unauthorized access to payment card data in U.S. stores,” which addresses what type of data was compromised, what is being done about it and – probably the most important to customers – using a credit card at the company’s stores now.

But even Forbes is bashing Target’s PR efforts following the crisis, saying the most basic question people have isn’t answered until nearly the end of its statement:

Credit card breaches happen all the time. As Forbes.com contributor Laura Heller points out, most shoppers don’t much care. But would you continue to use your credit card at a store that has told you that their very POS terminals have been compromised? Only if they also told you that the means of the point of sale data theft has been identified and closed down.

Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi issued a statement to help guide consumers with questions.

“During holiday season, the last thing you want to hear is that your personal financial information may have been compromised,” Bondi said. “I urge all [Floridians] who shopped at Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 to closely monitor their credit and banking statements for any unauthorized charges.”

Bondi suggested the following tips:

  • Closely monitor credit and banking activity to identify any potential unauthorized transactions. If such transactions are found, contact your financial institution immediately.
  • Keep all receipts so you can cross-reference them with your credit and banking statements.
  • To place a fraud alert on your credit report or to check your credit report, call one of the three credit bureaus:
  • Equifax – Phone: 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian – Phone: 1-888-397-3742
  • Transunion – Phone: 1-800-680-7289
  • If you suspect you are the victim of identity theft, call your local law enforcement agency.

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