Saturday, January 18, 2014

Target’s Offer to Consumers Post Security Breach: A Hoax or Legit?

I received an email recently in light of this past holiday season’s whole Target snafu. In so many words, the email reassures shoppers that the cause of the issue has been addressed, they are taking full responsibility for any fraudulent charges that were incurred and that it’s safe to shop there. A short time later, another “apologetic” email from Target headquarters arrived in my inbox offering a free year of credit monitoring service, with identity theft insurance through Experian with access to an activation code. What’s more inexplicable is that the email came from a targetNews@target.bfi0.com address. Very sketchy. Are they trying to regain my trust as a shopper with this offer?  Many consumers are wondering, is that email a hoax?

After doing some extensive research, I found the email to be actually legitimate. Target has confirmed the validity of this email on its corporate website:
https://corporate.target.com/about/payment-card-issue.aspx

I know every time I open those red doors, it’s like a retail booby-trap for me. I go in there with full intentions to purchase a just couple of necessary household staples and end up leaving with a cartload full of items I don’t really need, usually paid for with plastic. I happened to skip over that store in my recent holiday shopping excursions. But, why did I and many other consumers who haven’t recently shopped there receive  that email? In my research, I found that the hackers may have stolen personal information that the retailer had on file, including names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Not a comforting feeling, needless to say. Thankfully, after checking my financial statements and credit reports a short time ago, I have not noticed any suspicious activity. Whether the consumer decides to take Target up on that offer is up to them. Personally, in this day and age, I am steering clear from giving out more personal information if I don’t have to.

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