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A ‘novel’ credit card scam

By Janna Herron ·
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

Bookworms, get your nose out of the pages! A scammer may have gotten your credit card number.

Barnes & Noble said Wednesday that criminals tampered with PIN pad devices at 63 of its nearly 700 stores in an effort to steal debit and credit card information. The retailer said the stores affected were located in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. A complete list of the specific stores can be found in the retailer's press release on the incident.

The bookstore chain said the fraudsters planted bugs in devices, which captured the card data. Only cards that were swiped through the affected PIN pads were compromised.

These types of scams aren't new and underscore the need to watch your debit and credit card accounts. If you see any unauthorized transactions on your accounts, notify your credit card issuer or bank immediately, and report the activity. Also, call the three credit reporting bureaus -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion -- to place a fraud alert on your credit reports. This alert will tell lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity before extending credit in your name.

Fortunately for credit card holders, their liability in this case is zero. If losses result from a stolen credit card number, rather than the card itself, the cardholder has no liability for unauthorized use under the Fair Credit Billing Act.

Debit card holders are only liable for losses from a stolen card number if they don't report the suspicious transaction within 60 days of it popping up on a mailed bank statement.

Have you been a victim of a stolen debit or credit card number?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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October 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

How about putting in a link to the "press release" to which you referred, which contains a complete list of the Barnes and Nobles stores whose customer data was compromised?