July 22, 2014

Goodwill, feds investigate for possible data breach

Federal investigators are looking into a potential credit card beach at Goodwill Industries, but South Florida stores are not affected.

NEW YORK (AP) – Nonprofit organization Goodwill Industries is working with federal officials to investigate a possible security breach.

The Rockville, Maryland-based organization said late Monday that it was contacted Friday by a payment card industry fraud investigative unit and federal authorities who said payment card numbers may have been stolen from some U.S. stores. Goodwill said it is working with credit card makers, the Secret Service and fraud investigators to figure out if a breach occurred, but so far none has been discovered.

Goodwill operates more than 2,900 stores and takes in annual retail sales of $3.79 billion. It sells donated merchandise to fund job programs.

​Since the company’s stores are operated by about 165 regional headquarters around the country, there is no centralized database of all of its customers’ credit card information. That could limit a breach, if one occurred, to certain Goodwill locations.

Goodwill’s 32 stores in South Florida are not at risk, said Lourdes de la Mata-Little, vice president of marketing and brand development for Goodwill Industries of South Florida. The organization uses traditional cash registers at 30 of its local stores, with only two stores using point-of-sale equipment. Goodwill has been monitoring those stores, which it has declined to identify, and no breach of customer data has been found, she said​.

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

Miami Herald reporter Ina Paiva Cordle contributed to this report.

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