Business

Staples investigating potential security breach of credit cards

Office store Staples is looking into a potential credit card data breach and has contacted law enforcement officials about the issue, it says.

Office store assures customers they won't be on the hook for any fraud on their cards

Staples says it is investigating a potential security breach and assured customers they won't be liable for any irregular activity. (Canadian Press)

Office store Staples is looking into a potential credit card data breach and has contacted law enforcement officials about the issue, it says.

The company becomes the latest U.S. retailer, after Home Depot, SuperValu and Target, to announce an investigation into hacking of customer data.

Wary of scaring off consumers who fear their credit card information could be stolen, Staples is keeping mum about the scope of the issue and whether it affects Canadian stores.

“Staples is in the process of investigating a potential issue involving credit card data and has contacted law enforcement,” the company said in an official statement.

“We take the protection of customer information very seriously, and are working to resolve the situation. If Staples discovers an issue, it is important to note that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity on their credit cards that is reported on a timely basis,” it continued.

Staples has been closing physical stores and moving its business online as the office supplies business shifts to rely on e-commerce.

In March, U.S. parent Staples Inc. announced a plan to shut as many as 225 stores in Canada and the U.S.  At the end of September 15 Canadian stores were closed.

 Data breaches are becoming a new normal for U.S. banks and retailers, with even the biggest U.S. bank JPMorgan saying data may have been stolen.

Cybercriminals steal credit and debit card information and combine it with phishing in an effort to get consumers to reveal their passwords. It can be expensive to investigate and close loopholes in company computer systems.

Earlier this month Sears Holdings Corp. reported a breach at its Kmart stores that started last month, saying some customers' credit and debit cards may have been compromised.

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