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Howell Barnes & Noble Reported PIN Pad Tampering

Local store among 63 listed nationwide; Freehold store not on list.

While the Freehold store was not named as one of the four New Jersey stores affected, Barnes & Noble announced this morning that several stores, including the one on Route 9 in Howell detected tampering with their PIN pad devices.

According to a press release from the company, there was only evidence of one PIN pad being tampered with in each of the stores. During the investigation "Barnes & Noble discontinued use of all PIN pads in its nearly 700 stores nationwide," the release added.  

Federal authorities were also notified of the investigation and they are reportedly now involved as well. "Barnes & Noble has completed an internal investigation that involved the inspection and validation of every PIN pad in every store," the release said. "The tampering, which affected fewer than 1% of PIN pads in Barns & Noble stores, was a sophisticated criminal effort t steal credit card information, debit card information, and debit card PIN numbers from customers who swiped their cards through PIN pads when they made a purchase."

Barnes & Noble added that other parts of the company including purchases on their website, NOOKS and the NOOk app were still secure. "The company is working with banks, payment card brands and issuers to identify accounts that may have been compromised, so banks and issuers can employ enhanced fraud security measures on potentially impacted accounts," the statement added.

Four stores, including the one in Howell were affected by the tampering including ones in Clifton, Edison and Holmdel. Customers who have swiped their cards at any of the  affected stores are encouraged to take these steps provided by the company:

Debit Card Users:

  • Change the PIN numbers on their debit cards
  • Review their accounts for unauthorized transactions
  • Notify their banks immediately if they discover any unauthorized purchases or withdrawals

Credit Card Users:

  • Review their statements for any unauthorized transactions
  • Notify their card-issuing banks if they discover any unauthorized purchases or cash advances

For more information visit the company website or call 1-888-471-7809.

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