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AG seeking information on Target security breach

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Thursday that his office has asked for information in the Target Corp. security breach, joining other state attorneys general who have started similar inquiries.

The Minneapolis-based retail giant announced earlier this month that hackers had stolen credit and debit card information from about 40 million shoppers who made credit or debit card purchases at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

Arkansas joins a number of other states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, that have asked Target to provide information about how many of their citizens may have been victims in the cyber attack.

The company is currently facing at least 15 lawsuits seeking class-action status. The lawsuits have been filed by people who claim their credit or debit card information was stolen and they allege the retailer either failed to properly secure the customer data, did not promptly notify customers of the security breach or both.

The U.S. Secret Service is leading the government’s investigation.

“My office is actively investigating the cause of this breach and its impact on consumers in Arkansas, and we want to know exactly how many individual Arkansans are at risk,” McDaniel said in a news release. “We are working to hold accountable those who are responsible, as are other states and the federal government. As we work to identify what went wrong, I encourage affected consumers to diligently review their bank statements or credit card statements and immediately report to their account provider any unusual or unauthorized activity.”

Target Corp. has told attorneys general that information contained on magnetic strips on the back of credit or debit cards had been stolen, McDaniel said, including the name of the account holder, the account number and expiration date. No Social Security numbers have been compromised, he said.

Target is working with card-issuing banks to inform the banks of accounts that may have been compromised. Consumers will not be liable for unauthorized charges.

A message left at Target’s communications office in Minneapolis was not immediately returned on December 26th.

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