The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

December 21, 2013

Frustration over Target data breach

NEW YORK — Potential victims of credit card fraud tied to Target’s security breach said they had trouble contacting the discounter through its website and call centers.

Target’s CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized through a statement issued on Friday. The retailer also said it’s working hard to resolve the problem and is adding more workers to field calls and help solve website issues. And the discounter began offering 10 percent off for customers who shop in its stores on Saturday and Sunday and free credit-monitoring services to those who’ve been affected by the issue.

The Minneapolis-based discounter said that while it’s only heard of “very few” reports of fraud, it’s reaching out to customers who made purchases by swiping their cards when the scam occurred. The company also said it’s continuing its investigation into the matter.

Target’s statements come after the nation’s second-largest retailer acknowledged Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The theft is the second-largest credit card breach in U.S. history, exceeded only by a scam that began in 2005 involving retailer TJX Cos. That incident affected at least 45.7 million card users.

Target disclosed the theft a day after reports that the company was investigating a breach. The retailer’s data-security troubles and its ensuing public relations nightmare threaten to drive off holiday shoppers during the company’s busiest time of year.

Christopher Browning, of Chesterfield, Va., said he was the victim of credit card fraud earlier this week and believes it was tied to a purchase he made at Target with his Visa card on Black Friday. When he called Visa on Thursday, the card issuer could not confirm his suspicions. He said he hasn’t been able to get through to Target’s call center.

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