By: Andrea Medeiros
Hackers hit up hundreds of Barnes and Noble stores, some of them in Rhode Island, stealing your personal information and money. But it's not just a Barnes and Noble problem. It's happening all over the state, and most of the time you don't even know it's happening.
Hackers put a tiny device on the card readers where you swipe your credit or debit card. So when you scan it they get all your personal information.
Shoppers at the Warwick Barnes and Noble wondering if swiping their card is the best option. Hackers have tampered with card readers at that store and two others in Rhode Island- Middletown and Smithfield.
"They can put a phony thing over the part where you swipe your card. You think you're swiping your card through a reader and what you're really doing is swiping your card through a device the hacker has created," said Jim Lee, head of Consumer Fraud at the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office.
Lee says the trouble is this type of hacking is becoming more common at stores, gas stations, and ATM's.
"People are realizing that this is a new form of theft that they can do electronically, they can do high tech and it has a real volume to them," said Lee.
And because more and more people now pay this way thieves don't have to empty your account. They take a little here, a little there, from many accounts, which people often don't even notice.
The tampered card readers have been disconnected at all 63 Barnes and Noble locations. But if you've shopped here the company is asking you to check your bank statements and change your pin numbers immediately.