45.7 Million Credit Cards Stolen through TJ Maxx

I love shopping at TJ Maxx. How else would I have snagged “Scarlett’s” Azteck Reebok’s 4 years before she “designed” them? But if you’ve recently made a return without a receipt to a TJ Maxx store, a hacker could have access to your credit card number.

TJ Maxx has reported that hackers broke their way into the security systems and siphoned over 45.7 million credit card numbers. A worm working within TJ Maxx systems undetected for at least 18 months, covering it’s tracks and erasing data the whole way through.

This security breach has caused the largest credit card scam in history. In Florida alone, over $8 million in Wal-Mart gift cards were purchased. Let’s not forget that it took TJ Maxx over a year to report the theft. This of course causes questions and speculation of every retail stores register security. Shopping online doesn’t look so bad now, does it?

TJ Maxx’s President and CEO released the following statement:

February 21, 2007

To Our Valued Customers:

As TJX’s President and Chief Executive Officer, I want our customers to know how much I personally regret any difficulties you may experience as a result of the unauthorized intrusion into our computer systems. We are working with leading computer security firms to investigate the problem and enhance our computer security in order to protect our customers’ data. We are dedicating significant resources to evaluate the issue. Given the nature of the breach, the size and international scope of our operations and the complexity of the way credit card transactions are processed, the evaluation is, by necessity, taking time.

Since we learned of the probability of a breach in mid-December 2006, we have cooperated with law enforcement as well as with the banks and credit card companies that process our customer transactions. Further, we have established customer helplines in three countries and are making available a great deal of helpful information on our company websites.

We are committed to continue to address the situation and to provide periodic updates as we learn more. We have reported updated information in a press release which you will find below.

Additionally, I encourage you to access the information we are providing on this website to learn more about steps you can take to protect your credit and debit card information, or to contact our special customer helplines.

With the help of computer security experts, we have strengthened the security of our computer systems and we believe customers should feel safe shopping in our stores. We value the trust our customers place in us and again, I’d like you to know that we sincerely apologize for any difficulties you may be caused. Thank you for continuing to shop at our stores and for your years of loyal patronage.

Respectfully,

Carol Meyrowitz
President and Chief Executive Officer

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