Monday, January 20, 2014


I was one of those people who shopped at Target during the holiday season. There was no suspicious activity on my account, but my credit union was extremely proactive about identifying those who were vulnerable and replacing their cards. After reading a NY Times article on just how lax Target's IT security is, I now use only cash while shopping there.

A few days ago, I received an email from Target, offering me free credit monitoring. At least, the email *looks* like it is from Target. There are no links in the email to take me to god-knows-where, but I don't know *how* Target would get my email address or would know that I had shopped there during the time in question. The only legitimate answer is, my credit union shared my email address with them. Illegitimate possibilities abound, though.

It is not unusual for the ads in FB and Yahoo and other sites to reflect my online browsing and shopping, so I don't think I am being paranoid. Or am I?

1 comment:

flurrious said...

I don't think you're being paranoid. It seems a bit strange that your credit union would pass on your email address, and there's no other obvious explanation for how Target could have gotten it. That said, I did hear on the news the other day that Target knows that people are suspicious about emails they've been sending out, and there's a page on their website that lists the legitimate communications they've made so you can check the email you received against it:

The whole incident made me glad that I almost always pay with cash. The only exceptions are online (obviously -- and then I use a virtual card number), buying gas (because gas stations make it as difficult as possible to pay with cash), and when buying big ticket items where I want the additional warranty protection using a credit card gives me. I haven't used a debit card in more than ten years because if someone get access to your bank account, you're basically SOL.

I've made peace with the fact that I'm everyone's grandma in this regard. I know I'm still not totally safe, but you can only do what you can.