Marquette businesses victimized by data breaches

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Police are investigating reports of credit and debit card data breaches at several city businesses.

The Blue Link Party Store on North Third Street was the first business to come to light. The store’s co-owner says he was told about two weeks ago that their credit and debit card readers had been hacked into. He apologizes to affected customers and he says the store takes security seriously.

“We’ve been notified that there’s quite a few businesses around town that have been hit,” co-owner Mike Nason said. “When we were notified a while back, immediately we shut our system down (and) went to a dial-up system, which is more secure, and we have since wiped out everything we had and rebuilt it, all security measures in place.”

There’s no word at this point on what the other affected businesses are.

The suspect, or suspects, are using account information to make fraudulent purchases in locations outside of Marquette.

One of our reporters, Kevin Terpstra, is one of the victims from the Blue Link.

“Last week, my credit union had contacted me — the security center had contacted me — and said, ‘hey, there might be a fraudulent charge; we just want to convey with you and figure out, make sure’, so I called them back,” Kevin said. “They went through some recent charges that have been on my card, and they came to this one charge that they said, ‘$454 and some change at a CVS (store)’, and I said, ‘I haven’t been to a CVS, I think, in my life!’. They said, ‘well, it was in Lake Orion’, and I said, ‘I’ve never even been to Lake Orion!'”

Both Kevin and the Marquette Police recommend monitoring your accounts often and reporting any suspicious transactions to your bank or credit union.