If you shopped at Target, you might have been a target as thieves stole while customers swiped. It's a massive credit and debit card data breach.
FOX News Radio's Tonya J. Powers has the story:
A lot of us may be calling Target and hearing this.
Target recording: "Thank you for calling Target. For questions about a charge on your Target Red Card..."
The Secret Service is investigating and won't give details, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that this is believed to involve about 40,000 card readers at store registers and up to 40 million accounts could be vulnerable. The thieves got access to information that's stored on the little magnetic stripe on the back of the card.
The breach was initially thought to have happened between Black Friday and December 6th -- but could have lasted until December 15th. It's important to note that this happened in stores and not online.
Tonya J. Powers, FOX News Radio.
Listen to Target shoppers in New York City reacting to the news of the data breach:
Editor's Note: Target Spokeswoman Molly Snyder says it is possible that the breach compromised all payment data: name, CVV number, account number and expiration date. All 1,797 U.S. stores may have been impacted. Stores in Canada and online shoppers are not. The issue is resolved. When asked whether Target would spring for credit monitoring services for its customers, a spokesperson would only say the company is focused on informing its guests.
You can call Target toll free: 1-866-852-8680.
Fox News Radio's Jennifer Keiper spoke to a financial expert about the potential implications of the Target credit card investigation:
A possible credit and debit card breach-- it's bad news to hit during the holiday shopping season. Senior Market Analyst Phil Flynn with the Price Futures Group here in Chicago says of the investigation into cards that were used at Target stores recently:
Flynn: "If people feel that the system is broken and that they can't be protected, it could take a major hit on consumer spending."
Flynn says some might decide to keep the credit card in the wallet, cutting down on on some of those extra items that we buy when the plastic is more handy than cash.
In Chicago, Jennifer Keiper, FOX News Radio.
Read a statement below from Target:
MINNEAPOLIS -- December 19, 2013
Target today confirmed it is aware of unauthorized access to payment card data that may have impacted certain guests making credit and debit card purchases in its U.S. stores. Target is working closely with law enforcement and financial institutions, and has identified and resolved the issue.
"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," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. "We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice."
Approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. Target alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after it was made aware of the unauthorized access, and is putting all appropriate resources behind these efforts. Among other actions, Target is partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.
Tune into your local FOX News Radio affiliate for more on this developing story.