Second Layer of Target Scammers At Work

There’s a second layer of scammers at work targeting Target customers whose credit and debit card information was compromised. So it’s important to be on the lookout.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that scammers may have sent out notices that look like they are from Target and pretend to offer help. They are clever and make these emails look real. So you have to be really vigilant.

It’s likely they’ll ask for personal information like your credit card number and PIN to see if it has been compromised. But Target wouldn’t ask you for that information via email, nor would any other legitimate company. Don’t respond.

If there are links in the email, DO  NOT CLICK ON THE LINKS. Scammers are very crafty and it’s easy for them to create links that look real.

They can easily install a virus on your computer or direct you to sites that steal your information. Just ignore the links.

If you think you received a fake email, forward it to, and delete the message from your inbox. 

In the meantime, because the original hackers are likely to have your information, it’s important to stay on top of your account information. Check for charges that you don’t recognize and report them to your bank or credit card provider.

Continue to monitor your accounts to make sure there is no strange activity. It’s also a good idea to check your credit report for free at The credit reporting bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are required to give you this information. So that means you can check your credit report three times a year for free. Don’t let anyone talk you into paying a fee for this service.

If there are errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureau. This is the tough part. You have to write a letter and point out the errors. Here’s a sample letter.


Your Name

Your Address, City, State, Zip Code


Complaint Department

Name of Company


City, State, Zip Code


Dear Sir or Madam:

I dispute the following information in my file. I have circled the items I dispute on the attached copy of the form that I received.

This item(s) (Identify the items in dispute. Give the name of the source such as creditors or tax court and identify the type of account – credit card or judgment, etc.) that is inaccurate or incomplete.  (Describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why.)  I am requesting that the item be removed to correct the information.

Enclosed are copies of my documentation that supports my position. (Send only copies, not originals, and describe what you enclose: receipts, payment stubs, court records, etc.)

Please re-investigate this matter (or these matters), and correct or delete the information as soon as possible.



Your Name

Enclosures: List all the documents that you are enclosing.

Keep all of your originals, and keep a record of what you send.

To file a complaint, visit  For information about identity theft, visit

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.