Target customers struggling to reach company, call centers after massive security breach

NEW YORK (AP) - Some people who may be victims of credit card fraud as a result of Target's security breach say they're having trouble contacting the company through its website and call centers.

Target is apologizing -- and says it's adding more workers to handle calls and help solve website issues.

CEO Gregg Steinhafel issued a statement on Target's website Friday.

"We want our guests to understand that just because they shopped at Target during the impacted time frame, it doesn’t mean they are victims of fraud. In fact, in other similar situations, there are typically low levels of actual fraud. Most importantly, we want to reassure guests that they will not be held financially responsible for any credit and debit card fraud. And to provide guests with extra assurance, we will be offering free credit monitoring services. We will be in touch with those impacted by this issue soon on how and where to access the service.

We understand it’s been difficult for some guests to reach us via our website and call center. We apologize and want you to understand that we are experiencing unprecedented call volume. Our Target teams are working continuously to build capacity and meet our guests’ needs.

We take this crime seriously. It was a crime against Target, our team members, and most importantly, our guests. We’re in this together, and in that spirit, we are extending a 10% discount – the same amount our team members receive – to guests who shop in U.S. stores on Dec. 21 and 22. Again, we recognize this issue has been confusing and disruptive during an already busy holiday season. We want to emphasize that the issue has been addressed and let guests know they can shop with confidence at their local Target stores."

The company acknowledged Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over Thanksgiving weekend.

Some furious customers are threatening to stop shopping at Target, during the busiest shopping time of the year.

A Virginia man, Christopher Browning, says he was the victim of credit card fraud earlier this week, and thinks it was tied to a purchase he made at Target with his Visa card on Black Friday. When he called Visa yesterday, the company couldn't confirm his suspicions. He says he hasn't been able to get through to Target's call center.

Browning says there were two attempts to use his credit card in California -- one at a casino for $8,000 and the other at another casino for $3,000. Both occurred on Sunday and both were denied. He canceled his credit card and plans to use cash -- and says he won't shop at Target again until the people responsible for the theft are caught, or the causes of the breach are identified and fixed.

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