Target has announced that as a service to its 110 million customers who were victims of the massive hacking of their credit card, debit card information as well as other personal information it is offering a free credit card monitoring service for one year through ProtectMyID a company affiliated with Experian, one of the three major credit monitoring companies. The offer by Target was communicated to its customers through an email with a link to click on in order to enroll in the program and therein lies the problem. How can you be sure that the email offering the free credit monitoring service is legitimate? How can you be sure that the email is not from an identity thief and that clicking on the link is safe and will not download malware that will make you a victim of identity thief? The answer is, you can’t be sure because this is a tactic used by identity thieves.
You should definitely accept Target’s offer of the free credit monitoring service, which is a typical response by companies when they have been hacked. However you should go directly to Target’s official website of http://www.target.com and click on the link that reads “Important Notice: data incident involving certain guest information” which, in turn will take you to a safe and secure page where you can sign up for the program.