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Target Issues Notification Letter to REDcard Holders Apologzing for Data Breach

Target issued notification letters to all REDcard holders in regards to the data breach that occurred during the 2013 holiday shopping season. The letter apologizes for any inconvenience the event caused and thanks members for being loyal customers. It then goes on to say they are working towards implementing chip-enabled smart cards and scanners that will significantly enhance data protection for cardholders and shoppers.

Though the new smart cards were already in development, their implementation has been pushed forward significantly due to the enormity of the breach, but we still won't see them until 2015. Smart cards, better known as chip and pin cards[1], are widely used across Europe; however most banks and issuers based in the United States still use the old magnetic strip for their cards, which are more vulnerable to fraud. Because of the prohibitive costs of upgrading terminals and point of sale checkouts, retailers and banks have been slow to embrace the newer chip and pin card technology.

CreditCardAssociate.com has obtained one of the letters and created a readable pdf.

Target letter apologizing for 2013 data breach

Highlights from Letter

  • Through their observations, they have noticed a small increase in fraud on the Target Visa cards, but no noticeable change in the amount of theft on the store credit cards.
  • One year of free credit monitoring is available to all REDcard members partnered with Experian. You can get started at creditmonitoring.target.com.  The deadline to sign-up is April 23, 2013.
  • Cardmembers can easily keep an eye on their account activity at Target.com/rcam.

 

Data Breach Effects 
Target Profit Dropped 46% during the fourth quarter[2]
Costs and Damages $61 million and rising[3]

 

Clearly this letter is intended to reassure customers that it is safe to shop at Target stores again and the sooner they can move past this disaster, the better off they will be.  This letter might be a nice start to offering an olive branch to loyal customers, but many were shocked and put off by the news. It will take more than a free year of credit monitoring to pull them back in.

References

1. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2014) "Chip and PIN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved February 26, 2014.

2. Matthew Rocco, (2014) "Data Breach Cuts Into Target's 4Q Profit | Fox Business". FOX News Network, LLC. Retrieved February 26, 2014.

3. Dhanya Skariachan, (2014) "Target shares recover after reassurance on data breach impact | Reuters". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved February 25, 2014

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