In a press release dated October 24, 2012, Barnes & Noble announced that thieves tampered with point-of-sale PIN pads at 63 Barnes & Noble stores. The company termed the action as a “sophisticated criminal effort.” According to the company, the thieves planted bugs in the tampered PIN pad devices allowing them to steal credit and debit card information and PIN numbers when customers swiped their cards to make purchases. Stores in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island were found to have the tampered PIN pads. A list of store addresses may be found here.
Once the tampering was discovered, Barnes & Noble alerted federal law enforcement authorities; an investigation is ongoing. The company also disconnected all of its 7,000 PIN pads in stores nationwide even though only 1% of the devices had been compromised. As a precaution, Barnes & Noble advises customers and employees who swiped their cards at any of the stores with tampered PIN pads to take the following steps:
Debit Card Users
Change the PIN number on their debit card
Examine their accounts for unauthorized transactions
Notify their bank immediately if they discover unauthorized purchases or withdrawals
Credit Card Users
Examine their statements for any unauthorized transactions
Notify the bank that issued the card if they find any unauthorized purchases or cash advances
Cash registers and online purchases were not affected. The company also emphasized that its customer and member databases are secure. Barnes & Noble is assisting federal law enforcement authorities in the investigation and is working with banks and credit card issuers to identify accounts that may have been compromised.
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