Earlier I posted about emails forwarded to me from readers who claimed to have their Target Redcard accounts shut down. There’s also a thread on Flyertalk discussing this.
I certainly think the emails look strange — they’re quite specific about the activity that caused the shut down, mentioning specific dollar amounts. I wouldn’t expect an email letting a customer know their account is shut down to be so specific about the activity that caused it. It’s also interesting that the second version of the letter forwarded to me mentioned other amounts. It’s strange to see letters so customized.
So… is this fake? Some commenters say they’ve been shut down as well.
It’s more common than most realize to find misinformation posted in the comments on blogs, and on forums like Flyertalk — people writing about deals not working, about getting in trouble or losing money — to try to convince others not to take advantage of opportunities, to keep deals for themselves.
Here’s a couple of old-ish examples I have handy.
- Here’s a Flyertalk post from 3 years ago where half the messages written in the first year of the posting were from people who actually were taking advantage of the US Airways mileage multiplier (buy tickets, buy points, cancel the ticket within 24 hours) in a pretty big way. Their posts were meant to make people think there wasn’t really a deal there to be had.
- When Wyndham had a promotion that let you buy miles for 0.8 cents apiece there was a concerted effort in at least one of the ‘private’ forums to post misinformation (leaving comments saying the deal is risky, saying your account got closed). Rinse, repeat using different names to comment under and using proxies for posting to mask that it’s coming from the same person.
Ultimately I don’t think it matters whether this is ‘real of fake’.
I’m not sure it should change anyone’s behavior either way (although some will start making transactions in differing odd numbers – heh) — it simply serves as a good reminder that you should never ‘play’ with more money than you can afford to have withheld from you for a period of time.