Millions of people have gotten a suspicious email from Target in the last couple days informing them that their personal information may have been stolen in the recent data breach.
The email offers customers a year of free credit monitoring through Experian, which includes identity theft insurance.
That sounds great, except no one trusts that the email is actually from Target. Here’s why:
1. The email is from this sketchy address: [email protected] It’s a common practice for scammers to use a company’s name in front of their own domain, which often contains inexplicable characters like “bfi0.”
2. Consumers’ perception of Target has plunged in recent weeks as a result of the data breach, as we reported last week.
Maybe during a major credit card scam, target shouldn’t send out an email that says something to the effect of “click this link!”
— Katie (@auburnkt) January 16, 2014
Thanks for the sketchy, scam-like email Target. You could have done better. Bullseye wasn’t even in it.
— Meghan S. Holihan (@_mshola) January 16, 2014
3. Many of the people receiving the email didn’t shop at Target during the data breach. Some haven’t even shopped there in years.
Did everyone just get that Target email? I didn’t shop during the data breach but they just said my info may have been hacked…great
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) January 15, 2014
But this particular email is actually legitimate, as is the domain and the offer of a year of free credit monitoring. Target confirmed the email’s validity on a website the retailer is using to log all its communication with consumers.
The reason why some people are getting the email who haven’t shopped there recently is because the hackers may have stolen personal information that the retailer had on file, including names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
Target could have retained that information from a purchase you made many years ago.
Here’s a copy of the email:
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