Email from Target?

JavachikJanuary 17, 2014

Did anyone else get one of these emails?

"Dear Target Guest,
As you may have heard or read, Target learned in mid-December that criminals forced their way into our systems and took guest information, including debit and credit card data. Late last week, as part of our ongoing investigation, we learned that additional information, including name, mailing address, phone number or email address, was also taken. I am writing to make you aware that your name, mailing address, phone number or email address may have been taken during the intrusion.
I am truly sorry this incident occurred and sincerely regret any inconvenience it may cause you. Because we value you as a guest and your trust is important to us, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring to all Target guests who shopped in U.S. stores, through Experian�s� ProtectMyID� product which includes identity theft insurance where available. To receive your unique activation code for this service, please go to and register before April 23, 2014. Activation codes must be redeemed by April 30, 2014.
In addition, to guard against possible scams, always be cautious about sharing personal information, such as Social Security numbers, passwords, user IDs and financial account information. Here are some tips that will help protect you: �Never share information with anyone over the phone, email or text, even if they claim to be someone you know or do business with. Instead, ask for a call-back number.
�Delete texts immediately from numbers or names you don�t recognize.
�Be wary of emails that ask for money or send you to suspicious websites. Don�t click links within emails you don�t recognize.
Target�s email communication regarding this incident will never ask you to provide personal or sensitive information.
Thank you for your patience and loyalty to Target. You can find additional information and FAQs about this incident at our website. If you have further questions, you may call us at 866-852-8680.
Gregg Steinhafel
Chairman, President and CEO "

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I did.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:40PM
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I did and I was kind of wondering when I ever gave Target my email address. I don't think I did. I've never purchased anything from them online and I don't have a Target credit card.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:44PM
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I did and I signed up for the ID protection.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:44PM
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I believe they got mine from AmEx, the credit card I used to charge at Target.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:45PM
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gibby - That's was my thought, too. I did shop at Target with a bank CC during the "problem" period, but why would the CC company share my email address with Target?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I, too, am wondering how Target got my email address? I have looked at items on their website, never bought there.

I do not have a Target credt/debit/red card. I always use my bank credit card when shopping there.



    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 6:34PM
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Apparently it's legit, but it still doesn't answer how they got our email addresses.

Here is a link that might be useful: Target email

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 6:51PM
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I saw Suze Orman address this on The View today. To safeguard against this she recommends having your debit card at a different bank and only keeping $1,000-2,000 in the account so that if it gets hacked the loss is minimal and they don't have access to savings, etc. she also said to change the password every month.

Evidently this problem does not exist in Europe because they use chip technology which is virtually impossible to hack. We use that magnetic strip which is easily hacked. Ironically, Target tried to switch to chip technology but were forced back to magnetic strip because it isn't being used here yet. So I guess we should be pushing for credit card companies to move to chips.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 7:04PM
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I got one too. I did not shop there during the "problem period" so I was confused. I looked into it and apparently, this data fraud can go back years. Which makes sense for me, I lived nearby a Target 3 years ago and shopped there often, but not since. As for the email address, I'm puzzled. I don't recall ever purchasing anything online from them, and I don't have a Target CC, so I don't know how they have my email address. But evidently, now it's possibly stolen along with other information. I plan to sign up for the free credit protection.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 7:08PM
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I got one.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 7:38PM
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I did not. A friend did. I told her we already know Target is compromisable. Why would anyone give them any more information??? They are asking for your SSN. That is not a smart move IMHO. I too find it very much a RED FLAG of WARNING that they somehow got a hold of email addresses. I say run away, run away FAST!!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:35PM
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This mess is getting worse! I received the email too and I never gave them my email address. So I googled "How did Target get my email?" and discovered that I'm not alone in wondering this. One reporter suggested they purchased the addresses from a third party retailer (he suggested Amazon since there used to be some relation between the 2).

What's really discouraging is that several reporters contacted Target and found out that the hackers may have gotten information that was given to Target many years ago and they believe that there will be more revelations about the extent of the breech.

And one of the weirdest parts of the Target email is that in the body of their letter they give tips to avoid fraud. Here's 1 of them:

"DonâÂÂt click links within emails you donâÂÂt recognize."

Many people thought the Target email was a scam since the email address Target used was a little unusual. So what does Target tell you to do - why click the link they provided. They should have instructed readers to just go to the Target web site.

Here is a link that might be useful: How did Target get my email address?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:36PM
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I received the email today even though I did not shop at Target during the problem period this holiday season. The credit protection company is legit. I am still considering whether or not to sign up. I may call the credit card company and ask for their advice. Meanwhile I am monitoring my card.

Interesting that Amazon was mentioned by one of the other posters. Last week, I received a phishing email posing as Amazon. Recently, I signed up for Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant video. I wonder if there is a connection.

This entire matter is very troubling.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:52PM
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I got it and deleted it fearing spam as I knew I had not given them my email address.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 10:58PM
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Elraes Miller

I never thought about how Target got my email. Although I do shop there once in a while, no TCC nor are they given any other info.

It never occurred to me why they had my email...brain fog. Now I'm ticked at Amazon. And thanks Marie Caite for the link, precise response from the writer regarding our questioning this.

I never had junk mail until those darn blog signups.and use a specific email for them and other creative sites. Hate junk email and Target's came through as one with my primary.

It will be interesting to see if Target responds to their erratic safety measures mentioned in the email. We are now being asked for more information sent to an unknown. Why would we do this? And why add more personal information into their system during this time?

Someone at Target didn't think this through and it shows even more lack of management. They must be running as fast as they can to resolve this, but are tripping on the way.

A USPS letter would have felt more secure, but the safety process still up for question.

I do know at this point my Amazon account is going to be closed. A new one could be opened in the future. Of course they still have all of my information for life. I've always liked Amazon, but their addition of so many off site stores and resell individuals is getting a bit messy. Target just adds to the caution.

Makes one wonder how many other large or small companies are vulnerable and so giving for sharing our "locked" sign in information...the one they preach to us is in the URL. Then they open the door?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 7:02AM
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Got one. Shop at Target about once a month and have a Red Card (not a debit card). I put an alert on it for any charges over $200.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 8:53AM
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Most places in Canada use the chip technology with PIN now also. It always amazes me in the US when they still use the magnetic strip / signature for CC purchases. I feel so bad for everyone affected by the Target infiltration..... what a horrible inconvenience.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:19AM
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I also got one, and havenâÂÂt given them my email address, do not have a Target card and hadnâÂÂt shopped there during the reported period of problems. I, too am leery of giving out my SSN, so have not yet followed through with their offer. How many have?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:53AM
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Here's a little more information about Amazon and email addresses which sheds a some light on the topic. This information isn't from an official Amazon or Target source, just from public comment but it seems to say that Amazon isn't selling our email addresses but that they share our tracking cookie data - and we all know how prevalent that is on the internet.

.................from the Amazon forum............

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 1:43:37 PM PST
PF says:
They don't sell emails, but they do share tracking cookie data with their third party affiliates and partners. Target and Google are probably the biggest examples in addition to the Square Trade example L. Leverton posted above. Those companies will share Amazon's tracking cookies and know your browsing and purchase history unless you specifically opt out. You are not identified by name, address, financial data or email in those cookies. There is just a tracker showing that one computer user searched or bought certain items. The activity is not logged to a specific person, just the hardware you are using.

So Amazon does not supply them with your email address, but the Amazon tracking cookies have logged your IP address and a few other encrypted identifiers. If you have existing business relationships with those adverting partner sites, they have enough data to send targeted advertising to the email address you have on record with that company.

You can opt out of personalized advertising services so that affiliates and third parties do not get your tracking cookie information:

If you use Gmail, you also have to tweak the advertising settings on their end. Amazon uses Google Analytics as one of their personalized advertising partners. Just by using Amazon's site, you give permission for Google to track your browsing and purchase history. You have to opt out of allowing Google to forward offers from their own third party advertising partners to a Gmail account.

NPR had an informative (and scary) segment a few months on how companies track and store our data. Google is notorious for this.

I know how limited I am to avoid all of this. So from my end I follow the normal precautions - select good passwords, change them regularly, monitor my credit cards etc. And while I have a debit card I don't use it or carry it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Amazon group discussions

This post was edited by maire_cate on Sat, Jan 18, 14 at 14:00

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 11:02AM
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I have received several emails from Target since this story first unfolded. I think that this was actually an appropriate use of my email address. Target was alerting me to the fact that their system was compromised and in turn my account may be at risk. Had I not been aware of the data breach I wouldn't know that I should be on the lookout for fraudulent charges.

I was happy to receive the email offering free credit monitoring through ExperIan, and have signed up for it.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 4:35PM
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I rarely shop at Target but did so during this time frame - ironically I was shopping for toys to take to our local fire station toy drive. Teaching my grandson early on. Anyway, I used my Chase credit card. At first Chase said no worries. I signed up for text alerts for online, telephone and overseas purchased... only it backfired on my briefly when I ordered numerous items from a clothing company in England. The charges were pending, then declined and several phone calls to each straightened it out, but what a hassle I had last Monday morning!

Chase representative told me once my clothing arrives to order new cards. Before, they had said you're fine.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 7:43PM
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I got more than one of the Target emails.

Wasn't there an issue with Target a few years back or am I making that up?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Thanks Moon. I didn't go to any external links and I would never give personal information. Not sure if I'm interested in the free monitoring or not.

Interesting, my bank now has a message on their web site, recommending you get a new credit/debit card if yours was used in the scam. I immediately did this (at their suggestion). Hoping to have no problems.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:36AM
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I really don't know if I should sign up for the monitoring service or not. My DH shopped at target on line during the period. Bank of america, our credit card issuer sent us new cards with new account numbers. We did not request this they just did it, leaving us a phone message explaining why. DH doesn't want to give out anymore info to anyone but I would like the free monitoring service.

As for the email address. DH gave out his when ordering on line. I gave target mine years ago and get regular emails from them.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:08AM
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Update: I went and signed up for the free credit monitoring service for myself. I got a free credit report. While looking at it on line you can click on "personal information". I did and found errors with my name and addresses. I called Experian and they corrected it over the phone. Don't bother with the online dispute form. I never would have seen these errors as the personal information doesn't print if you print the on line report or if you get it in the mail. I could see it but not print it. Just wanted to alert everyone to check this section of the report.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:56PM
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Chase Card sent an email yesterday saying they are sending out new credit card to everyone included in the Target dates by 2-19-2014.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:01PM
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