Identity theft ring involves millions of customers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Identity theft ring involves millions of customers

You might be the victim of a huge identity theft ring.  It involves eight major retailers and millions of customers who had their credit or debit card numbers stolen.

It's being called the largest identity theft case in U.S. history, causing widespread losses by banks, retailers, and customers.

Andre' Greene is about to do some major backtracking: "I use debit card, or I use credit cards a lot, and it has me ready to switch up my pins and everything...I've got to because we shop 'way too much and I can't afford to take a hit like that."

Greene plans to look over all of his credit card and bank statements because he shops at several of the stores involved in the bust:  "We are in T.J. Maxx at least once or twice a month."

Customer Traci Foster says, "I shop at Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and DSW Shoe Warehouse."

T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, DSW, and Barnes & Noble are among eight stores involved in the bust.  Authorities say criminals hacked into their wireless networks and set up programs that captured card numbers, passwords, and even account information.

U.S. attorney David Huber says federal investigators have been working this case for years.  "A lot of these investigations take years because you have to -- you have to find who hacked in, how they did it."

So far, eleven people have been indicted, including three U.S. citizens and several others from countries such as Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, and China.  Huber says, "I think the best protection is to check your statement."

And Traci Foster says, "It makes you want to use cash."

Huber says paying by cash is probably your safest option, and customers such as Andre Greene plan to take that advice.  "If I can, I might hit the ATM cautiously, and then just use cash in the stores to cut it back."

TJX, which is the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, released a statement saying it is working closely with law enforcement to protect customers.

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