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Michaels debit fraud found in 5 Western Washington stores

Debit card PIN pads at five Western Washington Michaels stores are among 90 nationwide that show signs of tampering, the Texas-based crafts store chain said this week.

Pads in stores in Tukwila, Marysville, Lynnwood, Kirkland and Everett were identified as having shown signs of tampering, the company said. Those pads and 7,200 debit card terminals of similar design have been removed from the company’s 964 stores across the country, The News Tribune of Tacoma reported.

No stores in Eastern Washington or in Idaho were on the tampering list.

Michaels’ investigation began after customers in some of its Chicago stores complained of unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts. Michaels Stores says the debit-card fraud has spread across 20 states.

Michaels identified 90 key pads that were tampered with in Illinois, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

The company said it is using cash register terminals to authorize debit and credit card transactions at the stores affected by the PIN pad removals until those pads can be replaced. Replacement is expected to take about two weeks.

Scott Maben
Scott Maben joined The Spokesman-Review in 2006. He currently is the Business Editor.

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