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Police Arrests Six Suspects Associated With TJX Credit Scam

Police arrested a gang of thieves in Florida charging them with stealing credit card numbers to buy $8 million or more worth of electronics and gift cards. The men apparently intercepted data from the computer systems of retailer TJX Cos., officials said on March 24, 2007.

TJX is the owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and other retailer chains.

In 2006, the company reported that hackers had accessed its customers' database that included credit card details and then stole them, Ray Barber, police Sgt. of Gainesville said in a statement that telegram.com published on March 24, 2007.

Police arrested this gang of six people in Miami on March 8, 2007 and charged each with one count of organized fraud.

The Gainesville, Florida police suspect the men to have used the illegally acquired data to create phony credit cards, imbedding in them magnetic stripes having the TJX customers' true account information. With the help of these cards the suspects then bought gift cards worth $24,000 from a Wal-Mart store in Gainesville and another set valuing $18,000 from yet another Wal-Mart, said Gainesville detective Randy Roberts.

While handling the case Gainesville officials got the first break when an employee in the Wal-Mart jotted down a car plate number that some of the alleged thieves drove away after purchasing the gift cards.

According to Barber, TJX Cos. lost about $8 million from the hack job. Gainesville police had only found up to 1 million from their case. The $8 million loss would make the particular case one of the largest scams of gift cards, said Joseph LaRocca, VP of loss prevention for the National Retail Federation, a group of large trading merchants. Boston.com published LaRocca's statement on March 24, 2007.

Barber also said that officials were convinced that the Florida thieves were not the hackers but they bought the card details from someone else.

Sherry Lang, senior VP for investor and public relations said that Mass.-based TJX, Framingham was supplying inputs to law enforcement. Telegram.com published his statement on March 24, 2007. Lang hoped their continued co-operation with law enforcement would help catch the culprits to bring them to justice.

Related article: Police Arrest Five People in a Suspected International Online Banking Scam

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