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Target: Some gift cards not properly activated

December 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Target is facing another hurdle this holiday season - customers are having issues using gift cards that were not properly activated.

The retail giant announced on Tuesday that an unidentified number of gift cards sold over the holidays was not properly activated.

The company did not disclose exactly how many cards were affected, just saying the number is less than .1 percent of the total sold. Stores will honor the affected cards.

Target is asking customers to check the balance by following instructions on the back of the card.

Customers can bring faulty cards to any Target service desk or call (800) 544-2943 for assistance.

The problem comes less than two weeks after a massive credit card breach that affected some 40 million debit and credit card holders who shopped at its stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

On Friday, Target backtracked and said that debit-card PIN numbers were among the data stolen. However, it said the stolen personal identification numbers, which customers type into keypads to make secure transactions, were encrypted and that this strongly reduces risk to customers.

In addition to the encrypted PINs, customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the magnetic strip on back of the cards were stolen.

Target has said it is still in the early stages of investigating the breach. It has been working with the Secret Service and the Department of Justice.

Customers who see suspicious charges on their statements were advised to report them to their credit card companies and call Target at (866) 852-8680.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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