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Target gift cards deactivated during breach

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The gift card 'gotcha' comes hot on the heels of the data breach that compromised some 40 million customers' credit and debit card accounts nationwide. The gift card 'gotcha' comes hot on the heels of the data breach that compromised some 40 million customers' credit and debit card accounts nationwide.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Target can't seem to crawl out of damage control -- and this time, it's about its gift cards.

A spokesperson for the Minneapolis-based retailer confirmed Tuesday that some of its gift cards sold around the time of its recent data breach (Nov. 27 to Dec. 15) "...were not fully activated."

"This is completely unrelated to the data breach," said Target spokesperson Molly Snyder. "The actual number of cards impacted was less than 0.1 percent of the total sold during the holiday period."

The gift card 'gotcha' comes hot on the heels of the data breach that compromised some 40 million customers' credit and debit card accounts nationwide.

By Tuesday, more than a half-dozen Mid-South consumers confirmed to Action News 5 that their banks had told them their cards were among those compromised.

Bob Dickey of Hernando, MS, said his bank, working together with Target, was able to stop unauthorized charges to his debit card. Target security personnel alerted his bank that his card was among those compromised. A bank official told Dickey in a phone call that there had been attempts "overseas" to charge his debit card.

"About 20 minutes later, she called back, and she says, 'Bob, I have some more bad news for you:  your wife's card has also been compromised,'" Dickey said.

The Action News 5 Investigators first reported Dec. 19 that Target may have violated payment card industry standards in how it stored customer information. Customers who believe their information is at risk are encouraged to follow Andy Wise's data breach checklist.

The retailer got out in front of the new revelations about its gift cards. "Target will honor the impacted cards," said Snyder. "If a guest discovers that their gift card has not been activated, they can bring it to the guest service desk at their local Target store or call 1-800-544-2943 for assistance."

"I feel sorry for the Target people," said Dickey. His bank was able to protect his wife's account, too. "I know they stand to lose a lot of money over this. But at the same time, some of that money could have been ours."

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