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Target: 40M Credit, Debit Accounts May Be Involved In Data Breach

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ/AP) - If you’ve used a credit or debit card at a Target store in the last few weeks, your financial information might be compromised.

The retail giant says about 40 million credit and debit card accounts that were used to purchase items at stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have been affected by a data breach.

The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards.

The Minneapolis-based company said it immediately told authorities and financial institutions once it became aware of the breach and that it is teaming with a third-party forensics firm to investigate the matter and prevent future breaches.

Target Corp. advised customers to check their statements carefully. Those who suspect there has been unauthorized activity on their cards should report it to their credit card companies and call Target at 866-852-8680. Cases of identity theft can also be reported to law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission.

Target didn’t say exactly how the data breach occurred, but said it had since fixed the problem and that credit card holders can continue shopping at its stores. But news of the breach comes at the height of the holiday shopping season and threatens to scare away shoppers worried about the safety of their personal data.

“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause,” Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement Thursday.

Target has 1,797 U.S. stores and 124 in Canada.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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