Michaels Stores Wrestling With Unusual Fraud Event
Credit unions in 20 states might want to pay particular attention to their fraud alerts and protections after the Michaels retail chain announced they had experienced an ongoing card data breach.
The states where the breach occurred included Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
The retailer, which specializes in arts and crafts retail, has remained very quiet about the breach, citing the ongoing investigation, but has reported that it is somewhat unusual in that it appears the retailer's PIN pad terminals at points of sale were tampered with and compromised.
Other breaches have involved hacking into computer networks or servers. Tampering with PIN pads or skimming at ATMs has generally happened in cases of one or two pads or ATMs in a given location.
The retailer first went public in the Chicago area with news about the breach on May 4 after law enforcement authorities contacted the firm with suspicions about a card data breach.
Subsequent investigation found the PIN pad tampering in the Chicago stores and then that the tampering had spread far and wide.
“Michaels has identified less than 90 individual PIN pads (or approximately 1% of the total devices) in its 964 U.S. stores that showed signs of tampering,” the Irving, Texas based company said in its most recent statement. “Suspicious PIN pads were disabled and quarantined immediately. Out of an abundance of caution, Michaels has removed approximately 7,200 PIN pads comparable to the identified tampered PIN pads from its US stores.”
The company announced that it has begun replacing these PIN pads in all U.S. stores and expects the replacement to be completed within the next 15 days.
“Until the new upgraded PIN pads are installed, customers may have their credit and signature debit transactions processed on the store register. As an additional precaution, Michaels is screening all PIN pads in Canadian stores,” the retailer said.