OfficeMax: No Evidence of Security Breach Despite Victim's Claims

Rash of financial fraud believed to have stemmed from OfficeMax purchases, but company says no way


Following an extensive review of its security systems, OfficeMax says it has no reason to believe it was the company that suffered the data breach that resulted in thousands of cases of debit card fraud.

On Tuesday, the office-supply chain said that an independent study by a security expert found no indication that the company's customer information was lost. An internal investigation came to the same conclusion.

"OfficeMax takes the security of our customers' information with the utmost seriousness and is committed to protecting private customer information," the company said in a statement. "As we have stated consistently, we have no knowledge of a security breach at OfficeMax."

But the company wouldn't explain why it was still involved in the investigation into the debit card thefts.

"OfficeMax continues to work with the United States Secret Service and other federal law enforcement agencies in their investigation of ATM fraud," the company said.

Debit card holders from San Francisco to Pittsburgh to Boston have reported cash was seized from their accounts via fraudulent withdrawals. Visa and MasterCard have said a merchant had suffered a data theft but wouldn't identify the company.

During the past two weeks, law enforcement officials have noted that their investigations revealed that many of the fraud victims were OfficeMax shoppers.

On Monday, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said his office had arrested 14 people in connection with the nationwide crime wave involving debit cards. In an interview with CNET News.com, DeFazio identified OfficeMax as among the victims of data theft. He said other companies were also ripped off.

OfficeMax has said it has "not received information from any third party concluding" that it suffered a breach.