Debit Card Scam At Michael's Stores

Decorating By saffronica Updated 8 Jun 2011 , 2:10am by kpry

saffronica Posted 13 May 2011 , 11:30pm
post #1 of 38

In case you haven't already heard, if you use your debit card at Michael's, you ought to check your account. Scammers installed skimmers that steal your card information at stores in 20 states.

For more info:

Here's a list of stores that have been affected:

37 replies
KellyJo3 Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:42pm
post #2 of 38

wow, thanks for posting!

mombabytiger Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 12:27pm
post #3 of 38

I feel sorry for anyone stealing my debit card!

vickymacd Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 12:46pm
post #4 of 38

To let you know as well, this happened to me, but at Walmart, but with my
check. It started for me in Michigan and they routed it all the way to South Carolina where they found the ring of creeps! Just to let you all know, when you use a check and it is rung through the register, it is photocopied. That's why you get your check back. Your signature is also scanned. this is how they got me. Police caught the ring of creeps and not much damage happened to my account since I caught it quick. I hope everyone keeps tabs on your accounts as I still have to "prove" who I am for protection for the rest of my life.

christeena Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 2:12pm
post #5 of 38

Sounds like it's time to go back to a CASH only system! Yikes!

vickymacd Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 2:25pm
post #6 of 38

I agree! At work we just got a document stating the increase of these 'skimmer' machines and protecting ourselves. My answer? Tell the bums that are trying to cheat the systems to try to get a job and earn their money honestly! And for those that say, "Jobs are hard to come by" are setting their goals too high. There is a job out there for everyone. You just can't be picky. Money earned is money earned.
Now, I'll get off my soapbox!

imagenthatnj Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 2:31pm
post #7 of 38
Originally Posted by christeena

Sounds like it's time to go back to a CASH only system! Yikes!

I'm on a cash only system. Too many things have happened to me. Sad. When you go out to eat and the waiter takes your card into the back, that was one of them. I now carry huge amounts of cash and just make sure I don't lose that!

Texas_Rose Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 2:39pm
post #8 of 38

I went cash only for a couple of years following an identity theft problem that I had. Then I wanted to buy a house, and I had to switch back to using a bank account for a year so I could get a mortgage.

I will never write a check again (I probably CAN'T write a check anyhow). The check I had stolen was a rent check that I paid to an apartment complex. It didn't have a drivers license number on it, but the theives obtained that online, made a license with my husband's name, printed a bunch of checks, and went shopping. That wasn't all they did...I never found out all the details but we had the state anti-terrorism unit knocking on our door once, and the Secret Service (no kidding!) another time. My husband kept getting warrants for the bad checks that the theives were writing. Identity theft is the one crime where you're guilty until you prove yourself innocent, and it takes lots of time and money to get it all taken care of.

CAKESABC Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 3:20pm
post #9 of 38

I pay with cash as much as I can. This new technology that you can pay with a CELL PHONE, just has me scared out of my wits! And so does that thing where instead of swiping your debit/credit card on those little machines, on some of them you just wave your card in front of it. So scary. If I purchase anything online, I always try to pay with paypal as much as possible, oh I know they can be hit too, but since my information is only on one site vs tons, it makes me feel a "little" better. lol

julzs71 Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 3:40pm
post #10 of 38
Originally Posted by CAKESABC

I pay with cash as much as I can. This new technology that you can pay with a CELL PHONE, just has me scared out of my wits! And so does that thing where instead of swiping your debit/credit card on those little machines, on some of them you just wave your card in front of it. So scary. If I purchase anything online, I always try to pay with paypal as much as possible, oh I know they can be hit too, but since my information is only on one site vs tons, it makes me feel a "little" better. lol

My friends credit card number got stolen twice from paypal.

MissJezabelle Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 3:43pm
post #11 of 38

great...2 of the stores on there are ones I frequent. Bah

Chasey Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 4:23pm
post #12 of 38

Yikes, my store is on there as well. icon_sad.gif

How in the world do these skimmer things work and how is it someone is able to install it when they are next to the registers? Even if that lane wasn't open, wouldn't it be obvious for someone to be touching the keypad for the amount of time it takes to install the skimmer?

Wonder what time of day they did this?

Lazy thieves stealing someone else's money instead of working for it piss me off!

inspiredbymom Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 5:13pm
post #13 of 38

Thanks for the thread guys! It reminded me that I forgot to disable the paypass on my debit card. I'm on hold with them right now! We already take precautions and use cash and scrip for purchases online or in the store. We don't use "credit" and haven't for years. However, you can never be too careful!

For Chasey, I read that they did it in the daytime posing as a technician working on a defective pad. It's amazing how people can use so much time and talent for evil. Why can't they use their skills and get a real job? You would think the threat of getting caught would be too stressful. However, anymore criminals are not punished like in the way back when there were chain gangs! There you go! Make them work off their "take" by manual labor fixing the crumbling infrastructure! Wouldn't that be funny!

Chasey Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 5:35pm
post #14 of 38

Devious! One would think the manager would be notified of a "vendor" working on their registers or keypads, no?!

I'm certainly going to ask about that when I go to my Michael's! Wonder if they will deny it happened in their store or if they will share? I did get a email from Michael's saying this happened, but they mentioned it was mostly the Chicago area and that didn't affect me!

sebrina Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 5:44pm
post #15 of 38
Originally Posted by mombabytiger

I feel sorry for anyone stealing my debit card!

icon_lol.gif Mine too! LOL

Lisapost Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 5:56pm
post #16 of 38

I was one of the victims. I used my debit card at Micheals, and the next morning I had $26.00 in the bank.... the thieves shopped all night online with my card. I caught it early, and called my credit union as soon as they opened (I had checked my online account looking for a check, and saw my available balance). As I was on one line with my credit union, the card services were on another calling me to ask about the questionable purchases, which were unlike my usual purchases. So far all of my money has been returned ( I truly am dedicated to my credit union now), but it was a real headache!!!

llbesq Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 5:58pm
post #17 of 38

Thanks for the post! It finally explains how my cake business debit card (which I only use at a few places - Michael's in Springfield, VA being one place) was attempted to be used to purchase an I-Pod, etc. Fortunately, at the time there wasn't enough money in the account to cover the charges and I received a phone call about it.

yummy_in_my_tummy Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 6:09pm
post #18 of 38

Michaels sent a bulk email to everyone on their list notifying customers that debit/atm/credit card info at Chicago area stores was stolen. They were sending the notice out to everyone "in case" the issue was greater than the Chicago area. I just deleted the email because I'm in California, but when the news hit Yahoo!, it said it was in like 16 states, so I checked the Michael's website and it was all over. Not in California, but I did see other states like Colorado, New Hampshire (if I remember correctly). So check your bank statements even if you're not in Chicago!

sweeteypie1118 Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 6:11pm
post #19 of 38

I used mine at the Westbury, NY store and had 1,400 stolen from my account. I was not a happy camper!!

weirkd Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 6:12pm
post #20 of 38

We had our card compromised last week. They were trying to purchase from a flower place in Australia! They spent $200 and we had to wait over a week before our bank replaced the money. The bank thought it was Michaels, which I did purchase stuff there recently, but its not on the list.
I just dont understand how these guys got to so many locations without a manager or someone seeing them do it. I know what the skimmer is from tv and to me, it would take some time to add it to a register. Makes me think that it was an inside job!!
I swear thieves are getting more and more high tech. Its going to be at a point where you cant even have a bank account or anything because they will figure out a way to steal that too! They really need to make some examples of the one's they catch and make the others think twice about doing it!

superwawa Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 6:32pm
post #21 of 38

Thanks for posting - this might explain why Bank of America just sent me a new debit card with a note stating that my info "may have been compromised."

vickymacd Posted 1 Jun 2011 , 9:18pm
post #22 of 38

As I previously posted about my identity being taken from Walmart, I had to open a new account and watch my accounts since when they take your identity, they have everything about you. Involving the Police is a sure bet to protecting yourself again future charges; accounts opened, etc. to you. But yes, YOU are the victim! Basically you have to 'reestablish' yourself, meaning, if you shop at a certain store, you have to write several checks to establish WHO you are. Some stores still can't accept my checks so I have to shop where I know I can. It's a royal pain, but for as much griping I've done, it's actually my protection now. BUT, when I was really angry in the beginning, I called Walmart to scream at them and tell them what creeps they have working there, when I was transferred to a manager that told me EXACTLY what to do and what to look for. He was wonderful and helped me so much. Guess what? HE was the one that was one of the Kingpins! No wonder he knew so much about it! So my advice is to just always question and check your accounts all the time. Dont think it won't happen to you. Luckily for me, nothing more happened, but it's just a pain still.

muffyk Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 1:11pm
post #23 of 38

They got over $800 from my account. icon_cry.gif All ATM withdrawls. My bank has been very helpful, but it is a hassle. I don't know about just using cash though because if your wallet is stolen there wouldn't be ANY recourse.

vickymacd Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 1:51pm
post #24 of 38

I was VERY lucky, although the rest of my life will be in question every time
I cash a check or charge anything. But the nice part is, also a hassle, is that once you file with the Police and credit companies, etc., your accounts will ALWAYS, mine at least for 7 years, be watched. ANYTHING odd looking will be questioned. It's a pain, but a secure feeling now. Always file a police report. That's the ONLY way they caught the ring of creeps for me. I wanted to press charges, but the police said I would have to do all that on my own and not with their help. They take matters into their own hands on their end.
I can't repeat this often enough now, always check your accounts weekly if not daily!

TexasSugar Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 2:52pm
post #25 of 38

While I would still be very careful at any store, Michaels has replaced all of the keypads in their stories.

My dad is always cautioning me never to let me debit/credit card leave my hand, like at restaurants and such. And it is always good to check your bank again regularly.

I do try to use mostly cash now, but that's because I'm trying to curb my spending, and I don't carry all that much with me at any given time.

vickymacd Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 5:10pm
post #26 of 38

I work at a restaurant, and most restaurants are pretty safe. There is a STIFF penalty if ever this happened. But mostly, we don't have time to screw with your card. BUT, CASH is always best for a server! It works for us much better than a charge card anyway. So if you're more comfortable with cash, we love you! And I'm really sorry that I hijacked this posting with my first post on it, but since identity theft happened to me, I just wanted people to be aware of the dangers and what you need to do to protect yourselves.

retaunton Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 3:59am
post #27 of 38

Debit cards are so convenient, but also so dangerous if they get compromised!

I only do's a shame that our society is dependent on credit and debit.

I miss the good old days!

indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 4:27pm
post #28 of 38

when I was actively collecting antique asian china via ebay, I would buy pre-paid MC or Visa cards with my budgeted amount for my hobby. This was not attached to any of my bank accounts so if the number got hijacked, I was only out the amount I had prepaid on the card. Since it's not attached to an account, no overdraft fears! thumbs_up.gif

I also have switched to cash as much as possible. After going thru a huge downsizing in living space, and clearing out YEARS of accumulating "stuff", I avoid buying stuff just for the sake of having it. Plus, when you have to hand over the actual cash, it's amazing how much you can live without!

But daughter was getting peeved at me when she found out I was carrying a couple of thousand around in my purse. I just dont' even trust banks anymore. I authorized an auto payment on an account for 2 payments .... and they took a third without me knowing it until after the fact. Once they have the account number, it's almost a free for all. Banks can just attach any kind of fee they want and TAKE your money whether it's there or not ... and then reprimand YOU for an overdraft fee when they throw you in the red.

Don't have those problems with cash! thumbs_up.gif

I'm never buying another home and all of my cars are paid for in cash (I'm not carrying full coverage insurance AND paying loan interest).

I know I sound like one of those nuts who uses her mattress as a bank, but I kinda take my right to privacy a little serious. So .... Nuts Unite! icon_biggrin.gif

mommachris Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 10:54pm
post #29 of 38

My husband and I use cash, too.
Besides if I used a debit card in Michaels he'd know how much and how often I go there and WE can not have that,now can we. icon_wink.gif


SarahBeth3 Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 11:22pm
post #30 of 38

You go indydebi! I'm all about the Dave Ramsey way! Thanks for this post...makes you think & helps me remember to keep my guard up!

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