As you probably have heard, a few weeks ago hoodlums pulled a cyber panty raid on Target’s database of customer information. They gathered semi-public information (names, addresses, phone numbers and emails) on 70 million people.
In an effort to calm the hysteria, Target is offering a year of free credit monitoring at creditmonitoring.target.com. I found out about this from an email sent to me from TargetNews@target.bfi0.com.
Whoa! Rule #1 of e-crimestoppers is to be suspicious of any weird looking URL in an email. When I got the email, I figured it was some young-toughs out on a little cyber phishing expedition. Maybe even the folks who stole the data from Target. I deleted it.
Turns out the email was legit. It was from Target’s email marketing company Big Foot Interactive. You may have received previous Target emails from them if you are a regular shopper.
Still suspicious? Go to Target.com and click on the “important notice: data incident involving certain guest information” near the top of the page to see for yourself. It only takes a minute to sign up. If someone tries to open a credit card or get a loan in your name, you’ll find out about it asap.
Of course, the ongoing good news is that you are not responsible for fraudulent charges on your credit cards. Check your statements. If you see something squirrelly, call the number on the back of your card.
Over the past 25 years, I have had fraudulent charges show up on my cards a total of three times. I noticed the charges once. The two other times, the card company’s algorithms picked it up and called me. I may not know that I’m too old to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch, but the Visa computer did.
If potential fraudulent activity on your card really concerns you and you want to be kept abreast of all activity daily, pick up a copy of Quicken or sign up for Mint.com. Here’s a link to my post “I Feel Like Quicken Tonight”.
Here’s the email: