TJ Maxx Credit Card Leak
Published On February 18th, 2008

Thanks for shopping at TJ Maxx…but your credit card info is now fair game.

That’s right, if you shopped at TJ Maxx over the past few years, your credit card may be one of the 45 million – yes 45 million – that was accessed and copied in the biggest data leak ever. The card info was used to make duplicate dummy cards…and those cards were used to buy gift cards at WalMart and Sam’s Club for $400 each, which is under the $500 threshold for showing identification. This is not the first time this has happened. You may recall the DSW Shoe security breach about a year earlier; and like DSW all over again. And unfortunately, it’s a good bet that something like this will happen yet again.

You might be saying it’s a good thing you have that security code on the actual card to show that you have it in your possession…but the latest scam is designed especially to gain that information.

Scammers lure you into giving them the security code by impersonating themselves as employees of the credit card company, calling the cardholder, and acting as though fraud has already taken place in hopes that you will give up that precious three digit code. Here is how the call plays out.

The caller identifies himself by name, badge number, and states that the
call is from the Security and Fraud Department of Visa or MasterCard. They use the news about TJ Maxx and asked if you have shopped there in the past 4 years…a decent chance you have and have also heard about the data leak.

The caller explains that your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, he is calling to verify a charge that was made to your account (reads the account number to you), and asks if you made a purchase in the amount of $497.99 to a Marketing company in Arizona for an Anti-Telemarketing Device? When you respond “no” the caller states that a credit will be issued but to issue the credit the caller needs the security code (the three digit code from the back of the card) to process the credit.

You innocently pull out the card; give the caller the security code, and
minutes later are hit with a charge not a credit in the amount of $497.99.

Even though the scammers have your account number, name, and some personal information, this information is not always enough to make purchases and the
scammers need the security code.

Should you receive a call that is similar to the description above, take the following steps to protect your identity and your credit:

–Do not give the caller the security code.

–Ask for the caller’s name and terminate the call.

–Call the credit card company immediately, but do not call the number the caller provides.

Additionally, here are a few extra steps you can take to protect your sixteen digit credit card number and personal information:

–Be aware of your surroundings when purchasing merchandise. If the individual behind you in line is crowding your space, cover your credit card information.

–Watch your card when individuals around you in public places have cell phones. Thieves can easily use a cell phone to take a snapshot of your credit card.

–Shred all credit card receipts. Many merchants issue a charge receipt with the full account number and your name.

–Don’t leave credit card statements lying around the house or office, file or shred statements once paid as they contain all of the information for a thief to perform this scam.

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