Goodwill, feds investigate possible data breach

WAVY/Rob Rizzo

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY/AP) — Shoppers looking for a good deal may be in for a good deal more than they bargained for. Goodwill Industries, Inc. is working with federal agents to investigate a possible security breach.

The nonprofit organization operates more than 2,900 stores, 15 of which are in Hampton Roads. They sell donated merchandise to fund job programs.

On Friday, a payment card industry fraud investigative unit and federal authorities informed Goodwill that select U.S. stores may have been victimized. They said  payment card numbers may have been stolen, but they’re still working to figure out for sure if the breach happened.

10 On Your Side reached out to Goodwill on both national and local levels and put together information you need to know if you’ve purchased anything from a Goodwill store recently.

A local spokesperson, Danielle Cronin, said they are confident that local systems are secure because they “are not on a network POS (Point of Sale) terminal.” Those systems are directly routed into the cash register and a national database.

Cronin told their system is “routinely audited” and “someone would need long time physical access to do damage.”

More good news for Goodwill customers from the  national level — since the company’s stores are operated by about 165 regional headquarters, there is no centralized database of all of its customers’ credit card information. so that could limit a breach. if one is found.

At this point, recent scares are enough to change the shopping habits of some talked to, like Debbie, in Virginia Beach.

“I never use a credit card, I never use a debit card,” she said. “Everything is always paid with cash ’cause I don’t want people getting my information.”

The investigation follows a spate of high-profile data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers.

Goodwill Industries, Inc. released the following statement Monday:

Goodwill Industries International is a membership organization comprised of 165 independent Goodwill headquarters. Goodwill Industries International was contacted last Friday afternoon by a payment card industry fraud investigative unit and federal authorities informing us that select U.S. store locations may have been the victims of possible theft of payment card numbers.

Investigators are currently reviewing available information. At this point, no breach has been confirmed but an investigation is underway.

Goodwills across the country take the data of consumers seriously and their community well-being is our number one concern.
Goodwill Industries International is working with industry contacts and the federal authorities on the investigation.

We will remain appraised of the situation and will work proactively with any individual local Goodwill involved taking appropriate actions if a data compromise is uncovered.

Lauren Lawson-Zilai
Director, Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International

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