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Target Says Card Data Breach May Have Affected Canada Customers

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Target Corp. warned some Canadian customers that their personal data may have been compromised when hackers stole credit- and debit-card information from the discount chain’s U.S. operations last year.

“We believe a small number of Canadian guests were impacted,” Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today. “We will be reaching out to all affected guests to the extent we have e-mail addresses for them, including Canadian guests.”

In December, Minneapolis-based Target said data from 40 million accounts were compromised during the holiday shopping season. Earlier this month, the company said the breach affected more people and more information than previously thought, including personal data for as many as 70 million people collected over several years. Target said the breach hurt holiday sales and cut the fourth-quarter forecast for its U.S. operations.

The disclosure that Canadian customers may also have been affected after shopping at U.S. stores comes as Target struggles to forge a beachhead in Canada, its sole foreign foray. Not long after the company entered the nation last year, Canadians discovered they could get the same merchandise cheaper at Target stores across the border than at home.

Today the Associated Press reported that two Mexican citizens possessing 96 fraudulent credit cards based on data stolen during the breach had been arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border. The pair had used the cards to buy merchandise at such national chains as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Best Buy Corp. and Toys ‘R’ US Inc., the news agency said, citing a Texas police chief.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Dudley in New York at rdudley6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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