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Credit Card Breach Reported At Some Forever 21 Stores

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An investigation was underway Tuesday into a reported data breach involving payment cards used at some Forever 21 stores, company officials announced.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles-based retailer said a report from a "third party" sparked the investigation of its payment card systems involving card transactions in Forever 21 stores from March through October of this year.

"Because of the encryption and tokenization solutions that Forever 21 implemented in 2015, it appears that only certain point-of-sale devices in some Forever 21 stores were affected when the encryption on those devices was not operating," the statement says.

That's little comfort for many consumers, though.

"This really hurts credibility," cybersecurity expert Phil Lieberman told CBS2 News. "People put their cards down, and they want to know they are not going to have to change their cards out."

A silver lining for shoppers who use cards with chips is that it makes it more difficult for criminals to obtain information, as opposed to cards that are swiped.

Any customers who notice an unauthorized charge should immediately notify the bank that issued the card, company officials said. Payment card network rules generally state that cardholders are not responsible for such charges.

"Because the investigation is continuing, complete findings are not available, and it is too early to provide further details on the investigation," the statement says. "Forever 21 expects to provide an additional notice as it gets further clarity on the specific stores and timeframes that may have been involved."

Customers can get more information by visiting the Forever 21 website.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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