Millions of Americans received Target’s free credit monitoring offer email recently, but considering all the risks associated with scam emails, they may be unsure about how to react, Credit.com reports.
If you received Target's free credit report email, here are a few steps you may want to consider:
Make sure it's real. In a tragic twist of irony, email scams of Target's free credit report offer are making the rounds. Keep an eye out for telltale signs of Target email scams, CNNMoney advises. Watch out for email addresses that don't match (or addresses that just don't look quite right) and emails that ask for personal information or money. A red flag should also go up if the email contains spelling errors or stresses a sense of urgency.
Sign up. Out of an abundance of caution, you may not want to click on the links in Target's email message. Instead, go to the address bar of your browser and manually type CreditMonitoring.Target.com. Fill out your name and email address there. Next, obtain and save the redemption code Target sends you (if you can't find it, check your spam folder). Manually type ProtectMyID.com/target into your browser’s address bar. That will bring you to Experian’s website for Target victims. Paste the redemption code into the box. Fill out the other identifying information. Keep in mind you'll have to enter some sensitive financial information and your Social Security number to verify your identity, cautions Credit.com.
Check your report and repeat periodically. Once you make it through the authentication process, carefully review your credit report and check for errors. You should do this once every month, on Target's dime. Also, don't forget to set up text alerts -- again, on Target's dime -- so you'll be contacted if someone tries to open credit in your name.
Signing up for Target's free credit monitoring is an excellent way to help protect yourself from fraud stemming from the hacking incident. Keep in mind that guests have until April 23, 2014, to sign up to receive an activation code. Activation codes must be redeemed by April 30, 2014.