TJ Maxx has once again made it into the news reels. This time its because a number of government agencies are now investigating them to find out if, as a result of the computer intrusions, any consumer protection laws were violated.
According to this article in the Dallas Business Journal , TJ Maxx has said that it might be impossible to determine how many accounts were compromised by this intrusion.
The good news is that most card issuers have re-issued new plastic to anyone that might have been compromised. The bad news, any data that TJ Maxx had on their computers about their customers, stuff like their name and address, might have been compromised. It appears that social security numbers and birthdate data was not available to the hackers, and therefore not breached.
I went ahead and put an alert on my credit reports anyway. You never know! All I had to do was to notify one repository that I my information might have been compromised, and they notified the others of this alert. This alert directs whoever might be reading my credit report that my identity might have been stolen, and to verify my identitiy with a phone call to a telephone number that I pre-determined, and not to issue any credit until my identitiy has been verified.
I haven't received any phone calls, and the time period for the alert has expired.
The FTC explains the fraud alert this way;
An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for 90 days. When you place
this alert on your credit report with one nationwide consumer reporting company,
you'll get information about ordering one free credit report from each of the
companies. It's prudent to wait about a month after your information was stolen
before you order your report. That's because suspicious activity may not show up
right away. Once you get your reports, review them for suspicious activity, like
inquiries from companies you didn't contact, accounts you didn't open, and debts
on your accounts that you can't explain. Check that information — like your SSN,
address(es), name or initials, and employers — is correct.
For more information about protecting yourself against identity theft, visit the FTC's website "Fighting Back Against Identity Theft".