KNOXVILLE (WATE) – It was only a matter of time before con artists took advantage of the security breach at Target last month.
Leslie from Etowah writes: “I recently received an email from Target offering free credit monitoring service. How can I tell whether the message is legitimate?”
Target’s massive pre-Christmas security breach affected more than 40 million credit and debit card holders who shopped at their stores from November 27 through December 15.
Over the last few weeks, Target has sent its customers email messages offering free credit monitoring services and identity theft protection for a year.
Scammers are also sending similar messages.
So how can you tell whether the email landing in your inbox is for real?
Target’s emails are being sent from this address: email@example.com. If the email you receive comes from a different address, that’s your first indication it’s a scam.
Target’s emails will not ask for your Social Security number, phone number, address or any other personal information.
Instead, Target will provide a link to a website where you can receive an activation code for a free monitoring service.
Since the service is free, you will not be asked for any credit card information.
The scammers will ask for money or will lead you to a website that does. So don’t be fooled.
Grammatical errors and misspelled words are common mistakes that you see in the fake email messages. For a long time, 6 On Your Side has been warning you that grammar and spelling mistakes are a dead giveaway to scam artists.
Another common mistake these con artists will make is their sense of urgency. Their wording will go something like: “If you don’t respond to this email immediately, the offer we are giving you will end.”
The real emails sent by Target say that you have until April 30 to redeem their activation codes.
You can see Don Dare’s 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.
If you have a question you can send Don an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.