Scammers Targeting Target Shoppers

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, and delete the message from your inbox. To learn more, read our article on how to deal with phishing scams.


I opened Cartwheel by Target e-mail today. Is that going to affect my Target card. Should I cancel my Target credit and debit cards??? So far my accounts were not affected by the recent data breach. Thanks, Janie Morbillo


I'm not sure who answered your email before, but they were wrong.

The scammers are slicker than simply using the Target logo -- they have are using he creditcard bank logos, and rather than mention Target al all (and raising the email openers' suspicions) they are requesting sign-ons and new passwords via a hotlinked URL (rogue/spoofed website). These scammers are using some readily available copyrighted tool to generate the email.
(Slithy toves all of them)

The real scammers are Target. About 15 years ago I took out a Target card in upstate NY in return for a 10% discount on items totalling less than $25. That day I paid in cash since the card was supposed to be mailed. About 6 months later (after NEVER receiving the card through the mail) I got a call from Target. They had an incorrect address and agreed to send another card which I never received and never used. A week after the call I got a bill in the mail saying I owed almost $4,000 for unpaid merchandise. They claim I left the store without paying which I would never do. I called and told them there was a mistake because these charges are illegal. They said they would look into it. Every 6 months or so I would get another bill offering a settlement if I paid a few 1,000 dollars. Over the years this amount has been reduced. The last offer (about 2 months ago) was a settlement offer for a few hundred dollars. My only regret is that I didn't save all letters and report it to the proper consumer fraud authorities. In conclusion, Target perpetuates scams, fraud and illegal unauthorized charges. Although this is well documented (it's posted all over the internet) they continue to get away with illicit activity. It's just a matter of time before they will be fully exposed and completely OUT OF BUSINESS for good. According to a very reliable source this will definitely happen before 2015. BUYER BEWARE when shopping at Target because you do so at your own risk of being scammed!!!

Peter this sounds like something you dreamed up. How would Target even know the dollar amount of unpaid merchandise that you supposedly had left with, and why would they keep reducing the amount that they say you owe? If you have a vendetta against Target then tell the truth and say so.

Peter, I agree with MT2412's reply to you. I believe you are misrepresenting the facts...and to predict the demise of Target by a certain date/year smacks of conspiratorial tendencies.

I also had a VERY similar situation that happened to me when shopping and writing a "Business check" for purchases. They also suggested that I fill out {The cashier assisted in doing it herself via the computerized register} a credit card application to save an additional 15% on my purchases that day. Plus it was pointed out to me it would be an added form of business ID for me for future check purchases. I allowed her ti fill it out "Assuming" she was adding the information as I gave it to her. Forgetting all about it after leaving and NOT remembering that I should have gotten a rejection letter IF and when the credit line was refused I went on about my life. 7 months later our business was contacted by the company and the Sheriff of that county. Seems the "Good Employee" that filed out my application that day added her own address and we never did get the credit card. BUT...the company who suspected her for prior acts like this had her under investigation and she had run up over 1200.00 on the card. its credit line was for only 1000 but the late charges accrued due to her not making any payments and me not even knowing the card was issued made the balance higher than the credit line. Long story short....she was arrested for fraud on more than 6 customers and our credit was erased with the store. I think this kind of thing is what might have happened to you...and I wish you would have looked further into WHY Target was thinking you owed them for so many charges and purchases. Its way past the point to do anything now as the statute of limitations have expired in a case 15 years old. If something like this ever happens again do NOT assume it was the store perpetuation the scam. Chances was someone who got your information and is running up your credit and committing a fraud against you.

Thank you

I really believe that everyone who has purchased a product and paid with a debit card and/or Target's new Debit Card are indeed affected more to some extent. Target should submit some type of letter directed to the credit bureaus explaining this issue and can be posted to each person who maybe and has been affected.


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