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State urges customers of Target to take precautions

December 21, 2013
The Maui News

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' Office of Consumer Protection urges Hawaii residents to take precautions if they believe they may be affected by a recent data breach involving Target stores.

Businesses are required by Hawaii law to notify customers of security breaches involving personal information in any form following discovery of the breach. Hawaii law also requires businesses to notify the Office of Consumer Protection about the breach without unreasonable delay on the timing, distribution and content of the notices sent by the business to affected people.

The Office of Consumer Protection has received reports of a data breach involving Target that may affect a number of Hawaii residents. Target's website reported Thursday that computer hackers had obtained credit and debit card information from purchases made at company stores from Nov. 27 to Sunday. This breach may have included payment card data, including customer names, credit or debit card numbers, the card's expiration date and the card verification value (the three-digit security code).

Current estimates are that data from about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been stolen.

The breach involved transactions at Target stores when the cards were swiped. Target reported that it did not involve information obtained during online purchases.

The Office of Consumer Protection is seeking confirmation from Target representatives that the notice required by state law has been or will be sent to affected Hawaii residents as well as verification of the number of Hawaii residents affected by the breach.

Anyone who believes they may be affected and have questions may call Target toll-free at (866) 852-8680 or visit Target's company website.

Target has advised its customers that if they used a non-Target credit or debit card at a Target store between Nov. 27 and Sunday and have questions about activity on the card to contact the issuing bank by calling the number on the back of the card. Target card holders should contact Target directly.

"This is a very serious breach affecting a significant number of people," said Bruce Kim, executive director of the Office of Consumer Protection. "Any Hawaii residents who believe they may be at risk because of this incident are urged to take immediate steps to protect their personal credit information as well unauthorized access to their credit or debit card accounts. It is critical for those affected to use the contact information provided by Target and get current information on what they can do to protect themselves."



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