Target Corporation CEO Gregg Steinhafel announced late Friday that the company will be offering a discount to customers on Dec.21 and 22. This is in an attempt by the company to restore public confidence amidst the frustration brought on by the latest data breach.
Target customers learned of a massive security breach on Thursday. The breach entailed hackers obtaining the credit and debit card information of over 40 million target customers who made purchases in stores between Nov.27 and Dec. 15. The breach was nationwide and is being investigated by the Target Corporation and law enforcement agencies. The Secret Service has also admitted that it is looking into the issue.
A list of information that is presumed to have been stolen was posted on the Target Corporation website. Customer names, credit and debit card numbers, as well as expiration dates and three digit security codes are among the affected information.
Target is considered to be the second largest retail company in America. The release of information concerning the security breach has affected consumer confidence in the company. Panicked costumers began flooding the company’s phone lines in response to the release of the information. Some customers have also reported suspicious activity on their credit and debit cards. Financial institutions have assured consumers that they will not be held responsible for any fraudulent charges made on their cards.
There has been an increase in traffic to phone lines belonging to the Target Corporation, many customers have complained that they are not able to reach anyone in the company. Customers are filled with fear about how this security breach places their identities and personal information at risk. Some customers have even taken the extra step in filing class action lawsuits.
The release of information concerning the security breach could not have come at a worse time for Target. It is nearing the end of the holiday shopping season. The alarm caused by this security breach and the effect that it has had on Target shoppers, may have a huge negative impact on Target’s revenue for the season.
To ease some of the alarm, Target released an email to the media discouraging consumer panic. The email stated that there has not been any impact on PIN numbers belonging to compromised cards. According to Target this means that there is an additional layer of protection on the cards. It also means that ATM cash withdrawals with stolen card information are impossible. Despite reassurances customers continue to worry; especially with recent information being released that the stolen credit card information is being sold on the black market.
The information was released by the online cybersecurity company KrebsOnSecurity. The company is run by Brian Kreb,who was also the first to break the story about the Target Breach. According to Kreb, prior to breaking the story he spoke to a fraud analyst who confirmed the breach after buying an immense amount of bank cards from an online store.
Kreb states that this particular store is credited for selling credit card information stolen from the magnetic strips in the back of credit and debit cards. Obtaining this information gives thieves the ability to clone the cards and use them in stores.
Gregg Steinhafel released his statement on the Target’s website. In it, he apologizes to those consumers who are experiencing difficulty with getting information from the company website and hotline. He stated that the company will do all it can to remedy the situation. The statement also mentions a 10 mentions discount that customers shopping in Target from Dec. 21 to 22 will receive. The discount is limited to one per customer and is also limited to certain products. The company hopes that this will lessen some of the bitterness and frustration consumers are expressing on social media.
By Earnestine Jones