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Target Email Scam

How the scam works:

Target is one of the leading retailers in the world, and they take the security of their shoppers very seriously. Therefore, it was a shock to discover that their security had been breached no long ago; thereby compromising the integrity of 40 million credit and debit card accounts belonging to their customers. And as devastating as the situation was, it became worse when scammers began to attempt to profit from the security breach.

They did this by mimicking an email that Target sent their customers explaining to them how they could request a security freeze on their accounts. The original email from Target contained links to a variety of credit bureaus and to the Federal Trade Commission website.

The scammers’ email was identical, yet their links were not legitimate, and the email was, at the core, a simple phishing scam to attempt to receive personal information from Target’s customers.

How to avoid the Target Email scam:

The most important thing to remember is that, especially after a shakeup or disaster of some kind – the Target security breach, scandals involving the CEO of companies, even natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes – scammers are out in full force to try and profit from the situation. This is particularly true if it is front page news and therefore fresh on the general publics’ minds. This means that staying vigilant at all times is vital to not falling prey to a scam.

Next, be sure that the email has links to legitimate sites. Check the domain name the email is coming from. For example, Target emails will have the domain name target.com. If the domain name is different be wary. Finally, any website to which you are directed should have the secured system “padlock” at the beginning of the address bar. If this is missing, the site is not secured and any information you place there has the potential to be compromised.

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