Money Matters - Simplified

Debit card data stolen from Michaels Stores in Chicago area

Hundreds of customers who have shopped at Michaels in the Chicago area have complained about money stolen from their bank accounts through ATMs.

Many customers are complaining about money stolen from their bank accounts through ATMs in the recent days.

All these people have shopped at the Michaels Stores in the Chicago area in the last few months. The theft appears to be result of stolen debit card information from the stores.

Information stolen from Michaels
The thieves most likely stole the information from the PIN pads of the stores which are used by customers for making payments through cards.

The customers swipe their cards and feed the secret code in this machine. This information is used to withdrawing money from customers’ account through ATMs.

The customers who have shopped at Michaels during the past few months with a debit or credit card should check their bank statements and change the PIN number of their debit card and other security setting settings of their account, recommended the experts.

Michaels was first contacted on Monday about the thefts, said Doug Marker, vice president, loss prevention and safety. The company could not tell the exact amount which could have been stolen, he informed.

“Most of the banks we have talked with believe that any fraudulent activity originated in our Chicago stores,” said Marker adding, “We don’t know how wide spread the issue is.”

The company believes that PIN pad tampering may have occurred.

Authorities confirm theft throughout region
Authorities have informed everyone in the region that that thieves have stolen money from the accounts

In most cases the amount withdrawn is $500 along with a withdrawal fee of $3.

Most of the victims had made purchases at the company stores in Chicago, Vernon Hills, Bloomingdale, Mount Prospect, Burbank, Niles, Glenview, Naperville and Hoffman Estates during the last few months.

This is the latest among a series of theft of customers’ personal information. A data security expert with Trustwave, Colin Sheppard, said, “This isn’t anything new, but the attackers appear to be much more organized.”

The customers who have shopped at Michaels during the past few months with a debit or credit card should check their bank statements and change the PIN number of their debit card and other security setting settings of their account, recommended the experts.

In the present case, the experts believe that though information can be stolen by hacking a computer also but it is difficult to use it as the pin codes are in encrypted form.

The thieves most likely stole the information from the magnetic strip of the PIN pad and the keyboard of the machine which has the pin code.