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Thrift stores suffer data breach

By Mitch Strohm · Bankrate.com
Friday, October 16, 2015
Posted: 11 am ET

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A for-profit thrift store chain confirmed it was recently the victim of a data breach, which compromised customer credit card and debit card information.

America's Thrift Stores customers at any of its 18 stores throughout Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee could be impacted.

This isn't the first time a thrift store has been targeted by thieves. Last year, Goodwill was the the victim of a breach, which was tied back to a 3rd-party payment vendor, notes security journalist Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security.

How did hackers do it this time?

According to a statement from America's Thrift, hackers from Eastern Europe used malware to gain access to the company's systems, compromising payment card numbers.

What did they take?

Hackers were able to grab credit card numbers and expiration dates, but that's it.

The Secret Service told America's Thrift that it does not believe customer names, phone numbers, addresses or email addresses were compromised, the retailer's CEO Kenneth Sobaski wrote in a letter to customers.

Am I at risk?

If you used your credit or debit card at any America's Thrift Stores between Sept. 1, 2015, and Sept. 27, 2015, your information could have been taken.

What is America's Thrift doing?

In addition to working with the Secret Service to investigate the breach, America's Thrift has hired an external forensic expert.

The company notes that it has also identified and removed the malware from its computer system, and it's taking further steps to make its systems more secure.

"Shoppers can feel confident using credit or debit cards at any of our store locations," America's Thrift said in a statement.

What should I do?

Closely monitor your credit and debit card statements for any fraudulent activity. If you see anything that looks suspicious, contact your issuer immediately.

It's also a good idea to pull your credit reports, which you can do for free at myBankrate. Look for any purchases or activities that seem out of place.

If you have additional questions about this breach, America's Thrift offers a customer service line: (866) 837-2071.

Follow me on Twitter: @MitchStrohm

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