A few weeks ago, I heard the news that credit card numbers were stolen from T.J. Maxx computers. Coincidentally, I had shopped at that store recently. In fact, it was the first time I had shopped there in many years.
This was a good reminder for me to check my credit report. Last night, I visited AnnualCreditReport.com to get one of the three free annual credit reports all citizens of the United States are entitled to by law.
It’s important to keep an eye on your own credit report. Not only is it interesting to see which companies are pinging your report to determine which offers to send you through snail junk mail, but there may be errors on the report requiring correction.
AnnualCreditReport.com is the only portal you can use to take advantage of the three free yearly reports. Once you enter your personal information, you can choose one of the three credit reporting agencies to view that company’s report. The best plan for me to is to spread my credit checks throughout the year: Experian in January, Equifax in May, and TransUnion in September.
If you use a scheduling program like Microsoft Outlook, it’s very easy to set up reminders so you are warned when it’s time to get your next report.
I’m happy to report that my credit has not been compromised as a result of shopping at T.J. Maxx. Neither has it been compromised by a recent security breach by a third party vendor working with my employer. I’ll continue checking every several months to make sure nothing unexpected appears.
Update: Consumerist mentioned that a class action lawsuit was filed yesterday against T.J. Maxx due to the security breach.
Credit cards stolen in the breach have been used in Florida, Georgia, and Louisana, as well as Hong Kong and Sweden. Driver’s license data was stolen as well. Hundreds of thousands of credit cards have been reissued due to the theft.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published January 30, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.