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Fury and frustration over Target data breach

  • FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2008 file photo, a customer signs his credit card receipt at a Target store in Tallahassee, Fla. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts customers may have been affected by a data breach that occurred at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27, 2013, and Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Phil Coale, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2008 file photo, a customer signs his credit card receipt at a Target store in Tallahassee, Fla. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts customers may have been affected by a data breach that occurred at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27, 2013, and Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Phil Coale, File)

  • Customers push shopping carts as they depart a Target retail store Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 in Watertown, Mass. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Customers push shopping carts as they depart a Target retail store Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 in Watertown, Mass. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • FILE - In this May 20, 2009 file photo, shopping baskets are stacked at a Chicago area Target store. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts customers may have been affected by a data breach that occurred at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27, 2013, and Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

    FILE - In this May 20, 2009 file photo, shopping baskets are stacked at a Chicago area Target store. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts customers may have been affected by a data breach that occurred at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27, 2013, and Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2008 file photo, a customer signs his credit card receipt at a Target store in Tallahassee, Fla. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts customers may have been affected by a data breach that occurred at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27, 2013, and Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Phil Coale, File)
  • Customers push shopping carts as they depart a Target retail store Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 in Watertown, Mass. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • FILE - In this May 20, 2009 file photo, shopping baskets are stacked at a Chicago area Target store. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts customers may have been affected by a data breach that occurred at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27, 2013, and Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Potential victims of credit card fraud tied to Target’s security breach said they had trouble contacting the discounter through its website and call centers.

Angry Target customers expressed their displeasure in comments on the company’s Facebook page. Some even threatened to stop shopping at the store. Target apologized on Facebook and said it’s working hard to resolve the problem and is adding more workers to field calls and help solve website issues.

The fury and frustration come as the nation’s second-largest discounter acknowledged Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The theft is the second-largest credit card breach in U.S. history, exceeded only by a scam that began in 2005 involving retailer TJX Cos. That incident affected at least 45.7 million card users.

Target disclosed the theft a day after reports that the company was investigating a breach. The retailer’s data-security troubles and its ensuing public relations nightmare threaten to drive off holiday shoppers during the company’s busiest time of year.

Christopher Browning of Chesterfield, Va., said he was the victim of credit card fraud earlier this week and believes it was tied to a purchase he made at Target with his Visa card on Black Friday. When he called Visa on Thursday, the card issuer could not confirm his suspicions.

On Monday, Browning received a call from his bank’s anti-fraud unit saying there were two attempts to use his credit card in California – one at a casino in Tracey, Calif., for $8,000 and the other at a casino in Pacheco, for $3,000. Both occurred on Sunday and both were denied. He canceled his credit card and plans to use cash.

“I won’t shop at Target again until the people behind this theft are caught or the reasons for the breach are identified and fixed,” he said.

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