Data Breach Much Worse Than Feared

Disneyland was the setting for the Los Angeles premiere of of Walt Disney's "Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End" on May 19, 2007. Proceeds from the premiere benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and Make-A-Wish International. GETTY IMAGES/Vince Bucci

Thieves who accessed a DSW Shoe Warehouse database obtained 1.4 million credit card numbers and the names on those accounts — 10 times more than investigators estimated last month.

DSW Shoe Warehouse said Monday that it has contact information for about half of those people and started sending letters notifying them of the thefts, which happened at 108 stores in 25 states between November and February. A list of the stores is available on the company's Web site.

The stolen information did not include home addresses or personal identification numbers, the Columbus, Ohio-based company said in a statement.

The company, a subsidiary of Retail Ventures Inc., announced the thefts last month after notifying federal authorities and credit card companies. At the time, the Secret Service said only that information involving more than 100,000 people had been compromised.

Retail Ventures also owns the Value City and Filene's Basement store chains.

Besides the credit card numbers, the thieves obtained driver's license numbers and checking account numbers from 96,000 transactions involving checks, the company said. Customer names, addresses and Social Security numbers were not stolen, DSW said.

"Our loyal customers are our highest priority, and we greatly regret any inconvenience this may cause. We take this issue very seriously and will prosecute those responsible for this crime to the full extent of the law," the company said in its statement.

Reports of theft or loss of credit card and other customer information have broadened in recent months, involving companies including ChoicePoint Inc., Bank of America Corp. and BJ's Wholesale Club Inc.

Dayton-based LexisNexis said Monday it has begun notifying about 280,000 people whose personal information may have been accessed by unauthorized individuals using stolen passwords and IDs.

The Secret Service is investigating the DSW theft.

Comments