If you’ve been following the news this holiday season, you’ve probably heard that Target shoppers may have been affected by the recent data breach. Target notified their customers of the breach via email.
Unfortunately, scammers follow the news, too. Scam artists may send out phony “Target” emails pretending to help, but they actually want to trick you into giving them your personal information. And they are skilled at making the emails look real. If you get an email that says it’s from Target, here’s what to look out for to make sure you don’t get scammed.
*If any email asks for your personal or financial information, it’s most likely a scam. Say the email asks for your credit card number to check whether your card was compromised by the breach. What do you do? Don’t reply. No legitimate business will ask for your personal information through unsecure methods like email.
*If there are links in the email, don’t click on them, even if they seem legit at first glance. Scammers can easily create links and sites that look like the real deal, but can install viruses to your device or direct you to spoof sites that exist to steal your information. Hovering over a link can reveal a deliberately misspelled web address, or a completely different destination. Your best bet is to type the URL directly into your browser.
During the holidays, scammers may send emails promising a free gift card, a new tablet or computer, or even a seasonal job in exchange for your financial information. Even though these offers may sound tempting, delete the message and keep your information to yourself.
If you think you’ve received a fake email, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and delete the message from your inbox. To learn more, read our article on how to deal with phishing scams.
Article by OnGuardOnline.
By Aditi Jhaveri
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC