BUSINESS

Target sales decline as company deals with credit card breach

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) - On a weekend when the profits at many national retailers surge thanks to last-minute holiday shopping, Target bucked that trend thanks to its recent fraud woes.

Photo: Associated Press

According to the AP, Target Corp. said the Department of Justice is investigating the credit and debit card security breach at the retailer that's being called the second largest such incident in U.S. history.

Less than a week after its massive security breach was announced - one that may have exposed 40 million credit and debit card numbers to theft - Target saw transactions slip as much as 4 percent from the same time last year.

While a multi-state investigation has been launched and consumers in three states have filed class action lawsuits, the majority have decided to show their displeasure simply by taking their business elsewhere.

That's in addition to JPMorgan Chase putting spending limits on its credit cards, only revising them upwards Monday so that cardholders could make a maximum daily cash withdrawal of $250 and $1,000 in purchases.

"This kind of criminal activity on this scale just doesn't happen," Electronic Transaction Association CEO Jason Oxman said. "We're seeing something that's really unprecedented out in the marketplace, and the timing couldn't be worse.

One fraud victim, Connecticut resident Erika Eakin, saw her account get depleted by $1,000 after using her debit card at a Target on Black Friday.

"I wasn't really sure if this was a misunderstanding or if someone had my card," Eakin said.

Some shoppers have decided to take the threat in stride, with so many still regularly going to Target. They were buoyed to some extent by a storewide 10 percent discount that was in place all weekend.

"I feel like credit cards these days have good security as well, so if someone were to steal your credit card there's always that check," shopper Jeremie Rujanawech said.

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