Citigroup Will Replace Affected Debit Cards From Target’s Security Breach

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Reuters reported Thursday that Citigroup (NYSE:C) has confirmed that it will replace all customer debit cards involved in the data breach suffered by Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) this past November and December. Citi spokesperson Elizabeth Fogarty confirmed to Reuters in an email late Wednesday, “This is being done as a precautionary measure,” and helped elucidate that the bank would have replaced the debit cards sooner, but it didn’t want to disrupt retailers’ lucrative holiday shopping season. Citi has now joined other banks such as JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) that have also committed to redistributing new debit cards, but Citi is not planning on reissuing credit cards.

Citi’s email to Reuters Wednesday came exactly one month after Target initially suffered its security breach in December that significantly hindered its last weeks of holiday sales. The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based retailer alerted customers on December 19 that hackers stole data from 40 million credit and debit cards in the period from November 28 to December 15, and the retailer’s announcements unfortunately got worse as the weeks went on.

Now, it is clear that on top of those 40 million compromised credit and debit credits, hackers also stole the personal information of at least 70 million customers, including names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses. A Target spokesperson maintains that the two sets of numbers are likely to contain some overlap, but experts still consider them two distinct thefts.

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