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Michaels Reports PIN Pad Tampering at Stores

Michaels Stores Inc. informed the public and customers this week that individual PIN pads used in about 90 of its stores across 20 states were tampered with. The Danvers store next to the Liberty Tree Mall was on the list.

Texas-based arts, crafts and décor retailer Michaels recently alerted its customers to a potential security concern in a public statement this week.

Michaels Stores Inc. says it learned that PIN pads at stores in 20 states, including Massachusetts, were tampered with. Banking and law enforcement authorities initially informed the retail chain that fraudulent debit card transactions were reported this past weekend that were believed to be linked to legitimate purchases made at Chicago-area Michaels locations.

After conducting a preliminary screening of PIN pads in all 964 U.S. stores, Michaels discovered that about 1 percent (or fewer than 90 individual PIN pad devices) were tampered with and published a list of all affected store locations on its Web site.

Stores in , Burlington, Everett and Braintree are on the list.

The company says suspicious PIN pads were disabled and quarantined immediately, as 7,200 devices in addition to the compromised devices were removed from stores.

Michaels expects to have all the devices replaced within the next two weeks. In the meantime, credit and debit transactions may be processed on regular store registers.

The company is also working closely with banks and credit card companies to identify compromised customer accounts while assisting law enforcement authorities in the ongoing investigation.

Michaels urges customers to check their accounts for unauthorized transactions and follow consumer protection tips from the Federal Trade Commission.

For updates and further information, visit www.michaels.com. Customers can also call 800-642-4235 with questions.

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