Friday, January 19, 2007

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.


Identity-Theft-to-the-Maxx-audio-post - click to play

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
following:

  • American Express
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • Discover

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
  • Marshalls
  • HomeGoods
  • A.J. Wright
  • Winners
  • HomeSense
  • 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
more information:

866-484-6978
(United States)

866-903-1408
(Canada)

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
this month.

Any fraudulent charges you find should
be reported promptly to your credit
card issuer for removal and/or new card
account issuance.

Finally, make sure to tell a friend
about this important identity theft
credit fraud warning to they may too
act before becoming a victim.
---



Updated 9/24/97:

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.

7 Comments:

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and another one attempting to close the security hole after the hacker incursion..

When will these big companies ever learn to protect our personal information better?

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

Anonymous asked:

"When will these big companies ever learn to protect our personal information better?"
---------

These companies and other institutions will not tighten up their data security practices until the punitive liability exceeds the revenue opportunity for each of the consumer records violated.

Until that time, security breach based identity theft will continue to grow out of control.

 
At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good resourceful blog on Id theft keep it going..and I liked your tips too.

All the companies must take good care about our personal information. Cos these kind of thefts will put us in a bad situation later..

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Companies do not care if they open up their customers to identity theft as long as they continue to make money. Got to keep the economy moving--who cares if individual people suffer? Whoever thought that a business was a benevolent entity??

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

Late breaking update to this original story:
----

According to Information Week, arrests were recently made involving stolen data from TJX:

"Stolen TJX data has surfaced in two cases in Florida.

While the culprit (or culprits) who stole 45.7 million customer records from TJX remains at large and unknown, law enforcement officials have arrested at least 10 people since the beginning of the year for their roles in using that stolen information to commit fraud.

In July, the U.S. Secret Service announced the arrest of four Floridians: Miguel Alegria, 46, of Hialeah; Raynier Pupo, 22, of Miami; Ariel Montero, 32, of Aventura; and Javier Padron-Bravo, 35, also from Aventura. They're charged with aggravated identity theft, counterfeit credit card trafficking, and conspiracy. The Secret Service was able to trace the origin of the data used by these alleged fraudsters back to the TJX theft, as well as to a separate data breach at Polo Ralph Lauren.

The south Florida arrests resulted in the recovery of about 200,000 stolen credit card account numbers responsible for fraud losses roughly calculated to be more than $75 million. Agents also seized two pickup trucks, $10,000 cash, and a handgun in connection with the case.

This was the second high-profile bust related to the TJX breach. In March, the Gainesville Police Department and Florida Department of Law Enforcement caught six people with fake credit cards, created using stolen TJX data, who had bought $8 million worth of gift cards at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in 50 of Florida's 67 counties. Police charged Irving Escobar, 18; Reinier Camaraza Alvarez, 27; Julio Oscar Alberti, 33; Dianelly Hernandez, 19; Nair Zuleima Alvarez, 40; and Zenia Mercedes Llorente, 23, with an organized scheme to defraud, a first-degree felony. Police issued additional warrants at the time, hoping to catch others involved in the fraud ring.

The alleged fraudsters were exposed when Wal-Mart employees became suspicious of certain shoppers who were using multiple gift cards--many of them worth $400--to pay for their purchases. The $400 denomination was significant because gift cards valued at $500 or more require the customer to provide some form of identification.

The arrests were made after police analyzed transaction records and video footage of the alleged perpetrators, who were buying large quantities of computers, gaming devices, and big-screen televisions."

excerpted from the source article:

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201400172

 
At 3:43 PM, Anonymous free ps3 said...

Thanks for the nice post!

 
At 10:12 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

Update to the original story
---------------------

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.

 

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