Target Corp. said on Monday that the Department of Justice is investigating the credit and debit card security breach at the retailer that's being called the second largest incident in U.S. history.
The investigation comes after the discounter revealed last week that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The theft is exceeded only by a scam that began in 2005 involving retailer TJX Cos. It affected at least 45.7 million card users.
The Department of Justice declined to comment on whether it's investigating the breach at Target, the nation's second largest discounter. But Target said that it's cooperating with the DOJ's probe.
The news came as Target also said that it is working with the U.S. Secret Service in the retailer's own investigation and that its general counsel held a conference call on Monday with state attorneys general to bring them up to date on the breach.
"Target remains committed to sharing information about the recent data breach with all who are impacted," Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The moves come as Target is trying to deal with the bad publicity that's being generated by the breach during what is typically the busiest shopping season of the year. By Monday evening, more than a dozen Target customers had already filed class-action lawsuits in federal courts around the country, with some alleging Target was negligent and should have done a better job of protecting customer data.
Target has said that it told authorities and financial institutions once it became aware of the breach on Dec. 15. The company issued an apology to customers and doubled the number of workers taking calls from customers.
Target data breach
If you used a debit or credit card at Target from Nov. 29-Dec. 15, check your credit card statements carefully. If you see suspicious charges, report the activity to your credit card companies and call Target at 866-852-8680. You can report cases of identity theft to law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission.
You can get more information about identity theft at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by calling 877-IDTHEFT.