The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a rash of debit card fraud cases that appear to be linked to Chicago-area Michaels store transactions.
Chicago media are reporting that Bloomingdale (IL) police have received 16 reports of fraudulent ATM withdrawals made from consumers’ debit card accounts, and scores of other fraud reports have been made to authorities across the Chicago area by shoppers at the company’s 35 area stores. All of the fraudulent transactions apparently involve $500 withdrawals made at out-of-state ATM’s. All of the victims had previously made transactions at one of Michaels Chicago-area stores.
Compromised PIN pads, a common way of stealing debit card identities, in Michaels stores are speculated to be to blame for the string of frauds, but the investigation is still ongoing. Customers who have made purchases at Michaels stores should monitor their card statements for fraudulent activity and report any unauthorized activity to the card issuer. Consumers may also want to consider changing PIN numbers and other security settings on cards used in Michaels stores.
Michaels says it was contacted about the fraud this week by banking and law enforcement officials, and is working to assist authorities in the investigation.