Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 27, 2007
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

*****CONSUMER ALERT*****CONSUMER ALERT*****

MADIGAN ALERTS ILLINOIS CONSUMERS TO POTENTIAL IDENTITY THEFT AND CREDIT CARD FRAUD FOLLOWING SECURITY BREACH

Chicago – In response to a recent theft of consumer information at the parent company of T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls and A.J. Wright stores, Attorney General Lisa Madigan today urged consumers who shopped at those retailers in 2003, 2004, or 2006 to monitor their financial records and credit reports closely.    

TJX Companies, Inc., which operates T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls and A.J. Wright, recently announced that it had suffered an unauthorized intrusion into its computer systems that process credit card, debit card, check, and returned merchandise transactions for TJX customers.  Customer information – including financial information – is stored on these systems.  The hacking has put customers at risk of credit card fraud and identity theft.  There are 36 T.J. Maxx, 40 Marshalls, 13 HomeGoods and 14 A.J. Wright stores in Illinois according to the TJX website.

TJX learned of the breach in late December 2006 and began cooperating with law enforcement, including the U.S. Secret Service, to determine the nature and scope of the breach and to catch those responsible.  The company believes that the breach affects only those customers who shopped at the affected stores in the years 2003, 2004 and 2006, although Madigan recommends that any consumer who shopped at the stores between 2003 and 2006 take precautionary steps.

Although credit card and debit card numbers may have been compromised, card numbers were not linked with customers’ names and addresses.  Similarly, TJX believes that debit card personal identification numbers (PINs) were likely not accessed.  TJX has established a toll-free helpline for consumers, which can be reached by calling 866-484-6978.  TJX also continues to post information on its website at www.tjx.com

“My office has been briefed about the breach at TJX and will continue to investigate and monitor the situation carefully,” Attorney General Madigan said.     

In addition to credit and debit card information, the intrusion compromised a limited number of drivers license numbers for customers who returned merchandise without a receipt to T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, and HomeGoods stores during the last four months of 2003 and May and June 2004.  Affected Illinois consumers will be receiving notification from TJX if it appears that their drivers license numbers, names, and addresses were compromised. 

Attorney General Madigan urged consumers whose personal information may have been compromised as a result of this security breach to take the following steps:

  • Work with your credit card companies, banks and other lenders to determine if any suspicious or unauthorized activity has occurred on your accounts. 

  • Contact the toll-free number of any of the three consumer reporting companies to place a fraud alert on your credit report and order a free copy of your credit report.  When you receive your credit report, review it carefully and look for any suspicious activity.

  • To place an initial fraud alert, contact Equifax at 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241; Experian at 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742), www.experian.com, P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013; and TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289, www.transunion.com, Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790.

  • Be on the lookout for warning signs that your information is being misused.  Such signs include: receiving credit cards you did not apply for, being denied credit or offered credit at less favorable terms for no apparent reason, receiving calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy, and missing bills or other pieces of mail.

  • Carefully review your credit report to look for unauthorized charges.

  • Take advantage of your right to one free copy per year of your credit report from each of the three consumer reporting companies by calling 1-877-322-8228 or ordering online at www.annualcreditreport.com.  Request a report from one of the reporting companies every four months and carefully review this report for suspicious activity.            

For more information on how to protect against identity theft, Madigan urged consumers to visit her office’s Web site at http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/hotline.html Consumers also can contact Attorney General Madigan’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630, TTY 1-877-844-5461.

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