Cyber thieves slammed Target, Minnesota’s red bullseye department store, just before Christmas. Thieves grabbed information of 40 million debit and credit cardholders in what was one of the largest heists of its kind in U.S. history.
Lawsuits have been filed by customers in California and Minnesota claiming the Minnesota-based company failed to provide customers with adequate security and then failed to notify customers in a timely manner. Phone lines to the red bullseye were jammed once the word was out.
So what did the CEO of Target do to placate customers? He offered customers a 10 percent discount.
Did it work?
Well, judging by the parking lot at the Baxter Target on Sunday, it worked quite well. Last minute shoppers were enticed to pick up items and those who were drawn to the offer may have picked up a few more items than they actually needed.
Experts on weekend television news programming were urging cardholders to check their statements daily for charges that were suspicious.
Some news organizations even trotted out card issuers from Europe who were quick to claim the magnetic strip on the back of each U.S. issued credit and debit card is antiquated. In Europe, banks use chips to secure data on credit and debit cards. They call the magnetic strip used in the U.S. primitive by comparison. (There are no immediate plans to move toward chip security, according to experts.)
Perhaps this most recent thievery will push credit and debit card users to issue cards with greater security measures for users. Until that happens, consumers should use caution.