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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

TJX Identity Theft hits me hard

On going through yesterday's mail, I saw a bounced check notice from my friendly BofA. I knew I didn't write a check for the amount they claimed I did, so I went online to see what was going on. Damn if the TJX scam didn't hit me. Yes, I used my cards at Marshalls. And yes, Marshalls is part of the TJX group of stores for which all the credit and debit card information was purloined late last month. Thousands and thousands of credit and debit card account information was stolen from TJX and evidentally sold all over the world. Charges from farflung places like Hong Kong are coming to light as people's credit card bills are charged.

My charge was to Albertsons, a grocery store chain in the Western part of the USA. The charge was on 1/22 and I was not within 2000 miles of an Albertsons. Plus, the identification number they had for me did not match either my SS# or my driving license #. Plain and simple fraud.

Of course, the amount was huge for a grocery store, close to $400, which overdrafted me and caused a bunch of other things to be returned. This mess could cost up to $600 to repair. I'm not liable for it, but what a mess. Small businesses were affected, and it totally screwed up my ability to go grocery shopping this week, as I'll have to close my account tomorrow and open another one. This means new debit cards, and new blah blah blah, and it all just totally sucks.

As soon as the theft of credit information from TJX was announced, I thought to myself, "I've charged so much on my debit card at Marshalls, I'm probably screwed." But it never ever occurred to me that someone would be paying for their groceries on my dime, this alleviating the possibility of me getting groceries for my family. Thanks so much, identity theft people. I really appreciate it.

I guess you all know what I'll be doing tomorrow. It's just fun and games 24/7 around here. Shit!

If you have shopped at Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Bobs, or Home Goods and used a credit/debit card last month, you are at serious risk. Make sure you check your bank statements online daily and dispute unknown charges asap. Be careful. This is the wave of the future and all the shredding in the world can't protect you from companies that do not safeguard your credit card information.

I think I might drop in on TJX, which is down the road apiece, and let them know how this affected my family. They need to hear loudly and clearly what fuckups they are for letting this happen.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

Well, I guess the good news is that someone bought groceries and not a big screen TV or something. At least they put your money to good use. I would definitely go down to TJX and complain.

28/1/07 8:07 PM  
Blogger BSumner said...

Got me too... someone in CA filled up their SUV with $125 worth of high test fuel last week. I've never even been to CA..

I hope your thieves ate well... I hear the food sucks in jail.

28/1/07 10:16 PM  
Blogger scott said...

Hello,

My name is Scott and I am the Asisignment Manager at WFXT.

I can only say I am sorry about being scammed. I actually had OTHER CLOTHES purchased on my account.

I would love to be able to interview you if you have the time.

I can be reached at 781-467-1300

Thanks and good luck,

Scott

29/1/07 12:56 PM  
Blogger barbie2be said...

oh no! i hope it is relatively painless for you to get it straightened out.

29/1/07 3:55 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Scott,

Thanks for the offer, but I'm about as anti_Fox news as one can possibly get. I would not even consider doing an interview on television regarding my private finances, but Fox really gets on my last nerve and I'm never going to do anything to encourage people to watch.

Sorry.

29/1/07 10:47 PM  
Blogger dwboston said...

margalit said: If you have shopped at Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Bobs, or Home Goods and used a credit/debit card last month, you are at serious risk.

Sorry to break it to you, but according to the FAQ on TJX' Website, "We believe the intrusion began in May 2006 and extended to January 2007." TJX just _discovered_ the breach in December, and didn't announce it publicly until late January.

Better check your last EIGHT credit card and bank statements for fraudulent charges -- which, btw, were often made in amounts small enough to be overlooked on a quick glance... a tank of gas here, a retail purchase there.

The Mass. Attorney General's advice to "consumers who have shopped at the TJX Stores, including Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, AJ Wright, and used their credit or debit card, or a check, to pay for goods purchased" can be found here.

3/2/07 11:38 PM  

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