Target 'victims' on alert
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
NEW YORK — An email sent to the roughly 70 million Target customers who may have been affected by a pre-Christmas data breach is causing panic among those who fear it could be an attempt to victimize them again.
Target said the email, which offers free credit-monitoring services to potential victims of the breach, is legitimate. But the company has identified a handful of scammers who are trying to take advantage of the public's fear and confusion.
Shawn Blakeman, 42, of Raleigh, N.C., received Target's email, but he didn't click on the link it contained “just in case it was some kind of a website that I couldn't get out of or had a hidden virus,” he said.
Consumers have been on edge since news of the data breach broke last month. And they've been warned to be on alert for possible follow-up attacks that could come in the form of phishing emails, electronic messages designed to implant malicious software on their computers or draw them to websites that prompt them to enter personal information.
So when Target's email began circulating this week, many recipients questioned its authenticity. The email was especially suspicious to people who say they haven't set foot in a Target store in years.
Jim Reid, 60, of Minneapolis said he was a little nervous about clicking on the link in the email, and he questioned whether it was a good idea to send Target even more personal information when they were unable to protect it in the first place.
“There's too much uncertainty,” Reid said. “They keep changing what they're saying about how many people were affected, about what kinds of information were stolen. It's obvious that they really don't know.”
Consumers are right to be wary of emails purportedly sent by the retailer. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said that in recent weeks, the retailer has stopped more than a dozen operations that sought to scam breach victims by way of email, phone calls and text messages.
Target said all of the letters it's sending to shoppers are posted on the company's website, along with information about what customers need to do to sign up for Target's free credit monitoring.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wages have soared in Pittsburgh, but economy appears to have stalled
- PPG shareholders vote against proposals; sales, profit see double-digit increases
- Consol Energy transitions as leadership changes hands
- Former BP employee settles insider-trading charges
- Emboldened by Italy move, QVC to expand into France
- Target expands subscription service tenfold
- Applications for jobless aid edge up
- Judge won’t order recalled GM cars to be parked
- Facebook feature lets users locate nearby pals
- Wal-Mart rolls out money transfer service
- Secret Service close to understanding Target data breach