TJ MAXX – ADVICE TO CONSUMERS - NBC INTERVIEW
Tim Logan, CEO of KnightsBridge Castle spoke to NBC television today about the risks of fraud and impersonation crimes resulting from the loss of over 45 million credit card and debit card records by the retail company TJ Maxx. NBC wanted to know what consumers can do to protect themselves from this criminal attack.
“The TJ Maxx threat is serious,” said Tim Logan. “The loss of credit card numbers, debit card numbers, PINS, security features and drivers’ license number, to organized crime groups, presents a very real threat to consumers,” he continued. “This was not lost tape, or misplaced data. Organized criminals targeted TJ Maxx and systematically looted their databases over a six year period. This stolen information will be used to commit frauds and impersonation crimes for years and years,” said Tim Logan.
What can consumers do to protect themselves if they shopped at TJ Maxx? Mr. Logan provided NBC with the following general advice:
-- Take this threat seriously.
-- Remember commercial credit monitoring services will not protect you against this fraud. Credit monitoring will capture these frauds 60 to 90 days after they occur and have gone to collections. “Its like a fire alarm that goes off after the house has burned to the ground,” commented Logan.
-- Place a 90 day fraud alert on your credit records with the credit bureaus. Then lock down your credit records with a Credit Freeze in 25 states.
--Monitor your credit card accounts by checking statements immediately upon receipt – better yet, check using internet account tools once a week.
-- Debit Card holders are at the greatest risk. If you debit card has been compromised, cancel the card and have a new one issued. Debit cards do not provide adequate protection against fraud. They are not regulated by federal credit regulations as are credit cards with which your actual out of pocket loss is limited.
-- Subscribe to a service which monitors the dark web, where criminals buy and sell stolen information such as that taken in the TJ Maxx incident.
-- If fraud occurs:
o Notify the credit card company, or the debit card issuer immediately by phone. Then notify the credit rating companies. Failure to notify both the credit issuer and the credit rating companies may result in the loss of critical consumer rights under federal law.
o Always follow up in a written letter – keep copies and send a postal return receipt requested form.
o File a police report – without a report no crime has been committed and without a police report you cannot exercise your full rights to legal protection including permanent “fraud alerts” no-cost credit freezes, and lessened probability of later collection demands by creditors.
o Watch carefully for any suspicious activity involving your Drivers License information, such as unrecognized traffic violations, or auto insurance increases which may result from DMV or insurance fraud.
Tim Logan concluded “This is a serious breach of confidential financial and personal data. Consumers who take action to protect themselves now will avoid enormous grief and trouble later if they just take some simple precautions. No one will protect you. You must rely upon yourself to prevent and recover from this crime.”