For Immediate Release - January 13, 2014

AG Coakley Joins Multi-State Committee to Investigate Target Data Breach

Email Information for Approximately 70 Million People Compromised in Addition to the 40 Million Credit and Debit Card Accounts Previously Disclosed

BOSTON – In response to Target Corporation’s announcement that the email information for approximately 70 million people could be affected by the data breach last month, Attorney General Martha Coakley joined the executive committee of a multi-state group to investigate the data breach.

“A breach of this magnitude is extremely disconcerting and we are participating in a multi-state investigation to discover the circumstances that led to this breach,” said AG Coakley. “We expect Target to provide whatever measures are necessary to protect consumers from further harm. Consumers should review their bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized activity and notify their banks or card issuers of any unauthorized use. Consumers should also beware of potential phishing scams falsely offering credit protection to Target customers, and should not provide their credit card or personal information in response to such emails.”

Last month, Target announced a data breach affecting the credit and debit card information for approximately 40 million people across the country, including approximately 947,000 Massachusetts residents. The data was compromised between Nov. 27, 2013 and Dec. 15, 2013. Immediately after that announcement, AG Coakley provided consumer tips for those affected by the breach.

Today, Target announced that it is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all guests who shopped at their stores in the United States. AG Coakley urges anyone affected to take advantage of this service.

In July 2009, AG Coakley led a $9.75 million multi-state settlement between TJX Companies and 41 states, resolving allegations stemming from a January 2007 data breach similar to Target. Massachusetts received more than $950,000 to ensure personal data protection of Massachusetts residents.

As a result of that breach, Massachusetts passed a new strict data protection and notification law.  The law requires companies to have safeguards in place to protect data, and to inform the state and consumers when personal data may be compromised. More information about these data breaches and the law can be found here.  AG Coakley has since led multiple investigations into potential violations of the state’s data protection laws. 


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