Barnes & Noble Detects Tampering With Credit Card Readers At 4 NJ Stores

STATE – Barnes & Noble has detected tampering with PIN pad devices used in 63 of its stores, including four in New Jersey, that puts shoppers’ credit and debit card information at risk, the retailer announced Wednesday.

Compromised PIN pads were found in stores in Clifton, Edison, Holmdel and Howell in New Jersey.

Upon detecting evidence of tampering, which was limited to one compromised PIN pad in each of the affected stores, Barnes & Noble discontinued use of all PIN pads in its nearly 700 stores nationwide, the retailer said. The company also notified federal law enforcement authorities, and has been supporting a federal government investigation into the matter.

Barnes & Noble has completed an internal investigation that involved the inspection and validation of every PIN pad in every store. The tampering, which affected fewer than 1 percent of PIN pads in Barnes & Noble stores, was a sophisticated criminal effort to steal credit card information, debit card information, and debit card PIN numbers from customers who swiped their cards through PIN pads when they made purchases, the retailer said. This situation involved only purchases in which a customer swiped a credit or debit card in a store using one of the compromised PIN pads.

The company emphasized that its customer database is secure. Purchases on Barnes &, NOOK and NOOK mobile apps were not affected. The member database was also not affected. None of the affected PIN pads was discovered at Barnes & Noble College Bookstores.

Barnes & Noble is continuing to assist federal law enforcement authorities in this matter, the retailer said. In addition, 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 criminals planted bugs in the tampered PIN pad devices, allowing for the capture of credit card and PIN numbers. Barnes & Noble disconnected all PIN pads from its stores nationwide by close of business Sept. 14, and customers can securely shop with credit cards through the company’s cash registers. Barnes & Noble said it is committed to providing customers with a safe shopping environment.

In addition to the four New Jersey stores, tampered PIN pads were discovered in stores in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachussettes, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. A complete list is available from the company’s website.

As a precaution, the company advised customers and employees who have swiped their cards at any of the Barnes & Noble stores with affected PIN pads to take the following steps:

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 additional information customers may visit the Barnes & Noble website at or call 1-888-471-7809, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. with questions.


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