PORTLAND, Ore.-- Many Target customers are questioning a suspicious looking email about the company's data breach. The email message addressed Dear Target Guest offers free credit monitoring.

The company says the email is legitimate and the offer is real. It was sent to millions of customers.

Consumers' perception of Target has fallen in recent weeks due to the data breach and there have been countless bogus emails sent by scammers trying to fool customers.

One example is an email with the subject line Target: Get 25 Target Bucks For Your Opinion. The email included the Target name in red and white colors. A Target representative contacted by phone said the email didn't come from them.

A computer security expert says scammers have become increasingly sophisticated.

They know if they make something look legitimate, they use the same email, the same website look and feel that odds are more than likely they are going to click on that link, said Ken Westin of Tripwire.

So how do you determine if an email message is a fake? Computer security experts say, most companies will not request personal information in an email. Scammers like to use urgent words. Don't click on fake links. And watch for sloppy language or formatting.

As a general rule, what I do is I don't click on any links to emails. If it is from my bank or a financial institution I will go directly to the website or I will call them, said Westin.

More: Target corporate site

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