Fraudulent Card Readers Skim Customer Data

pic5-46We've posted before about thieves installing credit card "skimmers" over the card readers at automated gas pumps. And now, a chain of retail stores has been hit with a similar scam, in which thieves swapped out the stores existing POS card readers--the devices customers use to swipe their cards and enter their PIN codes--and replaced them with identical looking card readers that could have stolen the customers' information.

According to Bank Info Security,

In March, the national fabric store chain [Hancock Fabrics] publicly confirmed the breach...sending an open letter to its customers, revealing: "PIN pad units at a limited number of Hancock Fabrics stores were stolen and replaced with visually identical, but fraudulent, PIN pad units. This may have allowed criminals to capture - or "skim" -- payment card data during transactions."

Hancock didn't reveal the locations or number of stores where point of sale scanners were compromised -- nor the number of customers who had their card data taken -- but at least 140 reports from customers in California, Wisconsin and Missouri show the pervasive nature of the fraud.