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Security Breach!

Uggh. Last night I went to the grocery store to pick up some late night snacks. I think I had about $10 worth of items and planned on using my regular debit card since my unemployment card won’t have money on it for a few more days.

My card was denied! I thought maybe I had punched the PIN wrong, but after trying it again, it said the same thing. Fortunately, I had $5 cash on me, so I embarrassingly had to ask the clerk to take off about half my items so I could leave with at least a little something (I was starving!).

I know that account (it’s not a joint account with my husband, btw) doesn’t have a whole lot of money in it, but I didn’t think I was going to have a problem paying for $10 worth of groceries.

This had been bugging me all day. So, this afternoon I decided to deposit a $50 check I had gotten for my birthday (yes, like 3 months ago). I just went to the regular ATM at my bank to complete the transaction. The machine let me enter my pin, ask for an envelope and enter the amount I was attempting to deposit. But then, it said “access denied, see your bank.” WTF?!? I had never heard of a bank not letting you deposit money in to your own account. So, I parked my car and went inside to figure this out.

After explaining my situation to the teller she asked me if I had used my debit card at a Michaels store in the last couple months. Well, yes, yes I had. I don’t think I ever flat out said which craft retailer I worked for, but it was Michaels. So, of course I shopped there, usually using my debit card.

Apparently, there was a big security breach and someone got a hold of all the debit card #s and PINs that were used at the Chicago area Michaels stores from the past few months. The teller said that my account hadn’t been compromised, but that my bank had closed all the debit cards in their system that were used at Michaels to prevent fraud. Okay, phew! At least I know what happened and that my account is okay. I should be getting my new card in the mail within a week or so.

But then, I put two and two together. Just the other day my husband had tried to make a small purchase with his debit card, and it was denied. Now, there’s no way a small purchase would be denied for Ant, he’s rakin’ in the big bucks these days! So, he checked his online bank statement and $500 had been withdrawn from his account at an ATM in California. This unfortunately wasn’t the first time his account had been hacked, and he took care of the situation right away. I mentioned this to the teller, and she said that is exactly what was happening with the Michaels security breach, $500 ATM withdrawls in the Los Angeles area.

Great, way to add insult to injury, Michaels! Le sigh, this is a frustrating situation, but I’m just glad it will all work out in the end. Just be warned, if you’ve used a debit card at a Chicago area Michaels in the last couple months, check with your bank to see if your account was compromised.

I tried to Google this situation, but I wasn’t able to find anything. Shame on Michaels! They should issue a press release letting their customers know what happened so if their cards were canceled/hacked they don’t look stupid like I did trying to buy a few groceries. Although, I did write a message about the situation on their official Facebook page, we’ll see how long that stays up!



One Response

  1. Oh my gosh, what a hassle! You’re so right that M’s should have alerted its customers. Geesh. I have had that happen to me a couple of times, and it’s always such a violation. “Make your own money, people!” Lazy S.O.B.s. Anyway, hope everything else is going well with you.

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