Michaels investigates customer data breach, replaces debit pads

CHICAGO — Michaels Stores said Friday that while its debit card terminals were compromised in 20 states, including Oregon, fewer than 100 customer debit cards have been reported as used in fraudulent transactions.

It also identified the timeframe that customer information was exposed. Customers who made PIN-based debit card purchases at Michaels from Feb. 8 through May 6 might have been victims.

The company is in the process of replacing store PIN pads with the "most current, tamperproof equipment available today," starting with those in the Chicago region, which was hit the hardest.

Michaels said Friday it did not have details on how exactly the tampering occurred in the stores. "We have quarantined the devices and have turned several over to the Secret Service so they can examine them," said Doug Marker, vice president of loss prevention and safety for Michaels. "(We) have a forensics team examining the other affected devices as well."

A Secret Service spokesman has said repeatedly the agency will not comment on the matter because it's an ongoing investigation. "We are confident Michaels is a safe place to shop," Michaels Chief Executive Officer John Menzer said in a statement Friday. "We want to express how deeply we regret any issues experienced by our loyal customers who have been affected in any way."

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