Get free credit monitoring for a year

TargetTarget’s offering free credit monitoring as penance for its recent massive database breaches. To get it, navigate to and fill in your email address and name.

Within a day or two, you should get an activation code that allows you to sign up for one-bureau monitoring at Experian. Now, Experian’s a for-profit company, so it will try to sell you upgrades, such as a peek at “your credit score”–actually a PLUS score that isn’t used by lenders. You don’t have to buy anything or give up a credit card number to get the credit monitoring, however.

You will have to cough up your Social Security number and answer some questions culled from your credit report there so Experian will know you’re really you. As always, make sure the URL starts with an “https” before you give up private personal information.

You always need to be wary of credit monitoring offers. Apparently scamsters pretending to be Target are already targeting its customers, so you want to be sure you navigate to the right sites. Don’t click on links in random emails or give out private information over the phone to anyone who calls.

Another hazard has to do with lawsuits. Some companies offer credit monitoring after a breach, but in the fine print you agree to give up your rights to sue the company that suffered the breach or participate in class action lawsuit settlements.

In this case, the fine print requires you to agree to arbitration if there’s a problem with your credit monitoring service, but there’s no mention of giving up your rights regarding any future Target litigation.

I’m generally not a big fan of paying for credit monitoring, but free on-demand access to your credit information–plus alerts of suspicious activity–is a deal worth getting.

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  1. I did not buy anything from Target in that time frame. I probably have bought something from Target at the store that is 75 miles away but not in the last five years. I have in the past visited their web site. I do buy a lot of things on line, but don’t remember if I have bought from Target.

    I got the email. I didn’t log in from the email, but I went to their site and logged in. I have read that they do want your credit card and that they will automatically renew your account and charge for it,probably automatically. I am wondering if there is a place to opt out of automatic renewal.

    • Mary, if you went to the right site, you wouldn’t have been asked for a credit card. You may have gotten a spam email. If you follow the link in my post, you’ll get to the correct site where you can request an activation code for the free credit monitoring.