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Temecula Barnes & Noble Hit by Information Thieves

The Barnes & Noble in Temecula was one of 63 stores victimized by criminals who planted devices in PIN pads to obtain personal banking information.

The Barnes & Noble store at 40570 Winchester Road in Temecula was one of 63 stores nationwide and 20 stores in California where thieves used devices to steal banking information from customers, the company announced.

According to a news release issued Wednesday by the chain's corporate headquarters, store officials detected tampering with PIN pad devices used in 63 of its stores in September.

"Upon detecting evidence of tampering, which was limited to one compromised PIN pad in each of the affected stores, Barnes & Noble discontinued use of all PIN pads in its nearly 700 stores nationwide," the release reads.

Officials at the company also notified the FBI.

The company conducted an internal investigation of every Personal Identification Number pad in each of its 700 stores, officials said.

"The tampering, which affected fewer than 1 percent of PIN pads in Barnes & Noble stores, was a sophisticated criminal effort to steal credit card information, debit card information, and debit card PIN numbers from customers who swiped their cards through PIN pads when they made purchases," the release reads.

The thievery involved only purchases in which a customer swiped a credit or debit card in a store using one of the compromised PIN pads, the release states.

A call to corporate headquarters yielded a "no comment" from a spokesperson.

"We are not commenting beyond the release ... due to ongoing FBI investigation," spokesperson Mary Keating wrote Patch in an email.

A call to the local Barnes & Noble also failed to garner a comment.

Customers were advised to check their bank and credit card statements and alert their banks to any illegal activity.

To view the complete list of affected stores, please click here.

Brenda October 25, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Were you affected by the PIN pad device? We want to know. Tell us in the comments: No, I wasnt, but of course have a friend is working there and also an avid book reader, she buys alot!. A few nights ago there was a show on tv of how these guys get your Pin codes with those devices they slip into the pin pads. I dont know how no one sees them put it in or come to take it out. Gas stations are a big hit. They open the little box, put the small device in, or take it out, put another in, and then leave, with no one the wiser. Its a bit bigger then a postage stamp with a pull cord on it. I think I will choose charge from now on. But they still get your account number. Thieves will always find a way to get through any security devices we make to try to stop them, which is unfortunate. Companies will have to use a clear box now.
Temeculan October 25, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Doesn't their transaction processing track which Register/PinPad a transaction came in from? If not, then why not? It's time for businesses with inadequate controls to be held accountable for damaging their customers. With the information B&N should have collected they could and should notify the subset of customers compromised and placed at risk by them. Hey ,all you tort lawyers! Here's fresh meat!

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