Saturday, August 09, 2008

Feds Indict 11 in Biggest Ever Identity Theft Case

As a follow up to our original 2007 story on
the Identity "Theft to the Maxx" large scale
data breach effecting 40 million consumers,
a federal court this past week charged a fraud
gang responsible for data breaches involving
nine major retailers.

 Feds Indict 11 in Biggest Ever Identity Theft Case

11 people, including even a confidential informant
working for the Secret Service, were charged in
connection with a case involving illegally tapping
into the wireless payment processing systems
of the following retail outlets:

  • TJX (TJ Max)
  • OfficeMax
  • Boston Market
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Sport's Authority
  • DSW
  • Forever 21
  • BJ's Wholesale Club

Besides tapping into the wireless networks of
these major retailers, the thieves were successful
in setting up programs that captured card numbers,
passwords and account information from a massive
amount of unsuspecting consumers.

While TJX admitted to 45 million consumers were
negatively impacted from the two year period
the identity thieves had unauthorized access to
their payment processing data, court documents
revealed the real estimate was closer to 100
million consumers confidential data was compromised
based on depositions by Visa and Mastercard.

The ring leader, a Miami man who was also the
confidential informant for the Secret Service,
turned out to be a double agent who had been
providing criminals information about ongoing
investigations and tipping off associates.

With the massive amount of credit account
access information stolen and provided to
worldwide identity thieves, this case involving
TJX has a big impact in our personal identity
and financial safety.

So, our tip for today is contact your Visa or
Mastercard issuer and request a replacement
account number as well as the capability to
have "alias" number issuance for when you
conduct business online.

Additionally, make sure you select a credit
monitoring service to alert you to any
unauthorized transactions and/or over a
certain threshold amount to keep the chances
of identity theft credit fraud from damaging
your financial future.

Finally, be a good friend and share this tip
with them so they too can fight back against
identity theft


At 3:41 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

With this being the single largest identity theft case ever, even surpassing the 2005 Choicepoint case, the hall of shame has been updated to include this most dishonarable mention.

Identity Theft Rogues Gallery Revealed

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Agent99.

So let me get this straight.

Thieves used a wi-fi antenna &
a sniffer to capture unencrypted
credit account information captured by hand scanners at the point of sale.

Then they peddled those card account details on the worldwide black market .

All of which went on for 2 whole years!!

Great - just great - TJX must have felt very foolish to have finally found this out most likely from Visa and Mastercard telling them they had a problem first.

Makes me feel very safe now knowing how many other retailers out there use similar setups.

Time to pay cash.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Rambo said...

How bout the "confidential informant" who turned out to be the ring leader of the gang the Secret Service actually caught.

Really great use of our tax dollars, Secret Service (or should I say Keystone Cops).

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Single Mom said...

No wonder I mysteriously recieved about 2 months ago a new version of the credit card I've had for some time.

What was so odd was my credit card issuer mailed me a replacement card without my asking and it was well before my existing card's expiration date.

It had a completely new account number.

Now I know, but what's so scary about this episode is I wouldn't have even known my account was compromised?!!

Thank you so much, Agent99 for providing this tip.

Keep up the great sleuth work to keep us all informed about identity theft prevention tips and news.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous pinky said...

LOL, luv ur identity theft rogues gallery.

i see why tjx was added along with the bonnie & clyde identity theft team.


At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

45 million or 100 million.

That's a pretty big swing vote there.

Talk about scary, how come the only way we even heard of that 100 million figure was because Visa and Mastercard were deposed (forced) to testify by their member banks?

That 100 million is just about everyone in America who is credit eligible.

At 4:34 AM, Anonymous Stephanie said...

This type of breach, among others, is why you should protect yourself with an identity monitoring service. I am signed up with Secure Identity Systems because they look for inconsistencies in credit, but also where people might use your information in other places like getting utilities, driver's license, etc. I just found out a Countrywide Mortgage employee has sold 2 million customers personal information over the last 2 years. Our information is being given out for who knows what, and I want to be alerted if somebody decides to use it.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous cash advances said...

ID theft is such a huge threat. We are all vulnerable.

At 4:30 AM, Anonymous Stolen Identity Info said...

Identity theft is getting more common. It's scary and a horrible thing to go through!


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