Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch today initiated an investigation into TJX Cos.' recent security breach.
Lynch filed a civil investigative demand in Providence Superior Court against the Framingham merchants for its alleged failure to both prevent intrusions into its computer network and to use every available means to notify consumers of the recent security breach as soon as possible.
TJX, which runs more than 2,500 T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and other stores, revealed on Jan. 17 that a hacker had broken into its computer system, potentially stealing millions of customer credit card and debit card numbers as well as driver's license information dating as far back as 2003.
Thieves have used the card numbers to make fraudulent purchases around the world from Florida to Hong Kong. Banks have reissued hundreds of thousands of cards in what could become the biggest loss of consumer data.
"TJX owes its customers respect, not neglect," Lynch said in a statement. "By being negligent in its security procedures and by failing to employ immediate and aggressive methods to notify their many customers of the distinct possibility that their identities had been -- or were at risk of being -- stolen, TJX has displayed disregard for its customers."
A TJX spokeswoman could not be reached for comment this morning.
Lynch's civil investigative demand initiates an investigation of TJX's alleged violations of Rhode Island's Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
(By Jenn Abelson, Globe staff)