Target believes 121,000 Hawaii shoppers affected by data breach
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - According to the state Office of Consumer Protection, as many as 121,000 Hawaii shoppers may have been affected to the recent Target data breach.
The retailer had said earlier this month that about 40 million credit and debit accounts were compromised by computer hackers in a data breach at its stores nationwide. The breach occurred on purchases made at company stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.
"We were monitoring news accounts, the same as everyone else, and we were also able to communicate with Target directly," said Office of Consumer Protection Executive Director Bruce Kim. "Based on the information that they released to us recently, we were able to confirm this number" of Hawaii shoppers.
Target officials also confirmed on its Web site that the hackers were able to access some of the personal identification numbers, or PINs, from ATM cards used in its stores.
The developments have made shoppers wary.
"When you come shopping in these places thinking that you have the safety and the protection, and things like this can happen," said shopper Aleda Ziegler at the Salt Lake Target. "And if it can happen to some place like this, then it can happen anywhere."
According to the state, businesses are required under Hawaii law to notify customers of any security breach involving personal information. The law also requires businesses to notify the Office of Consumer Protection
"We are working with Target to ensure that consumers are not held liable for fraudulent purchases," Kim said.
"I'm shopping with cash," said Ziegler. "I intentionally went to the bank machine and I took some cash out to avoid running into any of these hassles with credit information and all of that."
"Hawaii consumers who shopped at Target should take precautions to prevent their accounts from being used by monitoring their bank and credit card statements and reporting suspicious activities to their bank or card company, "said Kim.
"Keep your guard up for the next year because it may take time for any fraudulent transactions to appear," he added.
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