If retail giant Target was hoping hoping to catch a break any time soon, they are now officially out of luck. Remember when it was reported in December that the credit card information from approximately 40 million guests was stolen from their physical stores all across the United States? Well, it turns out that that original number was slightly incorrect. Instead of affecting approximately 40 million of their guests, Target now fears that the security breach could ultimately affect approximately 110 million people. Wow – in case you’re as bad at math as I am – that number is nearly triple their original number.
And here’s even more bad news for any unfortunate shoppers who used their credit or debit cards at a physical Target location between 11/27/13 -12/15/13. It turns out that the thieves didn’t just obtain your credit card numbers; they also have your names, phone numbers, mailing addresses, and e-mail addresses.
So, What Now???
Obviously, Target is aware of the severity of this data breach. Speaking about the impact in a statement, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel had this to say:
“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this…I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team.”
In an effort to protect their guests from identity fraud, Target is now offering a year of free credit monitoring services to anyone who thinks they might be affected by the data theft. They also state that no one will be liable for fraudulent charges on their cards as a result of the stolen information.
It remains to be seen how this situation will affect Target’s overall sales in 2014 as many people might understandably avoid the retailer until this mess is completely cleaned up.
Were you affected by the data breach?
[Image via threatpost]