Target reaching out to customers affected by security breach

Target officials on Friday said they are reaching out to customers in response to its recent security breach announcement.

"We have begun notifying, via email, those guests whose emails we have and who shopped in our U.S. stores with a credit or debit card during the period of November 27 and December 15. We expect that all emails will be sent by the end of the weekend," said Molly Snyder, public relations for Target.

She said it is important for customers to know that getting a letter or email from their financial institution does not necessarily mean there has been, or will be, fraud on their credit or debit card.

The security breach is under investigation by the Secret Service. About 40 million cardholders could be impacted, according to information released Thursday.

Snyder said there is no indication that there has been any impact to PIN numbers.

"What this means is their bank PIN debit card or Target debit card still has this additional layer of protection. It also means that someone cannot visit an ATM with a fraudulent card and withdraw cash," she said.

There is also "no indication that the data that was inappropriately accessed included a guest' date of birth or social security number," Snyder said.

Target alerted all of the credit networks and provided affected card numbers. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are alerting the financial institutions of customers via "batch" of "CAMS alert."

"This alert process allows card providers to take steps to enact additional fraud monitoring.  For our REDcard holders, in addition to the robust fraud monitoring system we already had in place, we have added additional layers of security and fraud monitoring to their cards," Snyder said.

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