Brendan Abbott received an odd email from Gregg Steinhafel, Target Corp. chairman and chief executive on Monday:
“As you may have heard or read, Target learned in mid-December that criminals forced their way into our systems and took guest information, including debit and credit card data from our U.S. stores,” the message read (see full letter below).
Like many, Abbott, who lives in Vancouver, was aware of the data breach at the U.S. retailer, whose system was hacked in December, which led to 70 million debit- and credit-card numbers being stolen.
At the time, Target said the breach was contained to U.S. stores. But the hacking scam has now taken on a Canadian dimension.
“In early January, as part of our ongoing investigation, we learned that guest contact information — separate from the payment card data — was also taken, including name, mailing address, phone number or email address,” the Target letter said.
“I am writing to make you aware that your name, mailing address, phone number or email address may have been taken during the intrusion.”
A spokesperson for Target Canada confirmed on Monday some Canadian customers have had their contact information stolen by the same group.
In an email response, Lisa Gibson of Target Canada stressed that Canadian stores “were not impacted by the unauthorized access to payment information.”
But the Minneapolis-based discount retailer is offering one year of credit monitoring services to “impacted Canadian guests.”
The monitoring offer “is for those [Canadians] who we believe may have had their contact information accessed. And we are notifying those people directly via email,” Gibson said.
Gibson wouldn’t specify how many Canadian customers may have had info stolen.
Abbott said he submitted his email address to the company through its website last month when he was commending an employee for helping him on recent trip to a store.
“I believe I provided only an email address to contact me, but may have provided a phone number as well,” Abbott said in an email message.
“Much of the guest data that was taken is partial in nature,” Gibson said. “We have started to contact affected guests directly to let them know that we are offering free, one-year credit monitoring for impacted Canadian guests, as well as tips to guard against consumer scams.”
Gibson pointed concerned Canadian shopper’s to Target’s support site.
A file of the email letter:
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