Target Email Scam


Target Email and Gift Card: How The Scam Works

The Target scam has two variations: the Security Breach email and the Gift Card scheme. Let’s take a look at both.

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 not too 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 about the second variation of the scam? We even have a video for it.

Watch the video below to see in action the Target Gift Card Scam exposed:

Target Gift Card Scam Video


Target Email Scam: How To Avoid

The most important thing to remember is that after a shakeup or disaster of some sort – e.g. the Target security breach, scandals of famous CEOs, natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes, etc. – 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. It also 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 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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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

1 thought on “Target Email Scam”

  1. Other than reporting the scam email to the FTC (a waste of time & effort), why doesn’t Target have an email address to their Security Division/Section/Office to enable the consumer to forward the email directly to the company?

    It’s VERY EASY to set up an email address, so I’m surprised this hasn’t been accomplished, yet. It would behoove Target to get copies so their security personnel can use the header information to track down & prosecute the entities pretending to be from Target.

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