On October 24, 2012, Barnes & Noble Booksellers sent out a press release stating that they detected tampering with 63 PIN pad devices – one at each of 63 different stores. The company has discontinued use of their PIN pads and notified federal authorities about the breach.
The press release reads, “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…” Allegedly, individuals planted bugs in the PIN pads.
California was one of the hardest hit states, with at least 21 stores affected.
Federal authorities will take pains to connect the bugs with individuals. If caught, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison and large fines for the credit fraud conviction alone.
Credit card fraud is an area of criminal law that encompasses a wide range of crimes, from sophisticated credit card schemes (such as the Barnes & Noble credit card case) to simple use of a lost credit card found laying in the street. A person can also be convicted of credit card fraud for:
- Stealing credit card numbers
- Using the internet to commit credit card fraud
- Counterfeiting credit cars
- Purchasing items with stolen credit cards
- Selling items that have been purchased with stolen credit cards
If You Are Accused of Credit Card Fraud
No matter what kind of credit card fraud authorities have accused you of, your future is on the line. Even conviction for a “simple” crime – such as using a stolen credit card once – can stay on your criminal record and affect your future. Therefore, if you have been accused of credit card fraud, do not settle for anything less than an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Source: Barnes & Noble Booksellers, “Barnes & Noble Detects Tampering With PIN Pad Devices at Stores,” Mary Ellen Keating, Oct. 24, 2012.
Learn more by visiting our page on credit card fraud defense.