Identity Theft to the Maxx
Continuing upon its record setting pace the past
24 months, this new year brings the first major
identity theft disclosure effecting millions of
consumers across North America and Europe.
TJX, the parent company of the discount retailer
for Marshalls & T.J. Maxx reported this week they
were the victim of an "unauthorized intrusion"
into their computer systems last month.
The computer systems were broken into by
unknown hackers evidently who were successful
in accessing the firm's credit and debit card
account information of it's 4 million
customers from over 1,750 stores.
While the majority of impacted customers
impacted supplied their credit/debit card
information during 2006, there is also an
unspecified number of customers dating
back to 2003 that are effected as well.
The information stolen which can be used
for identity theft credit fraud now has
credit the major issuers scrambling to
lessen the potential loss rate included the
- American Express
Additionally, the computer thieves were
also able to steal the highly sensitive
information of TJX customer's:
- Debit cards
- Drivers License (DMV)
This is a major security breach which not
only is limited to consumers within the
U.S.A., but also impacts those in Canada,
Puerto Rico and even Europe.
Any customers of the following TJX store
brands are urged to take immediate action:
- T.J. Maxx
- A.J. Wright
- Bob's Stores
So, our tip for today is if you or anyone
you know has ever purchased or returned
goods using a credit/debit card -or- was
required to show their DMV number, contact
the TJX special, toll free hot line(s) for
0800 77 90 15
(United Kingdom and Ireland)
Plus, because of the December holiday
timing of the computer break-in, make
sure to scrutinize your credit card
statements which will be mailed later
Any fraudulent charges you find should
be reported promptly to your credit
card issuer for removal and/or new card
Finally, make sure to tell a friend
about this important identity theft
credit fraud warning to they may too
act before becoming a victim.
According to Market Watch:
"TJX Cos. said Friday it has agreed to settle customer class-action lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada related to claims arising from the criminal intrusions into TJX's computer system.
Under the settlement, which is subject to court approval, TJX will offer three years of credit monitoring and identity theft insurance to customers who returned merchandise without a receipt and to whom the company sent letters reporting that their driver's licenses or other identifying information may have been compromised.
TJX will also reimburse the customers for documented costs of certain license replacements and certain losses from identity theft if identification numbers compromised were the same as their Social Security numbers."
Score one for the 45 million consumers who were impacted by this major security breach.