NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Arts and crafts shoppers nationwide are on alert after an art heist took on new meaning.

Officials said customers at Michaels stores in 20 states, including New York and New Jersey, became victims of a pin pad tampering case as bandits attained customers’ bank account numbers and identification codes.

The tampering happened between Feb. 8 and May 6 at Michaels stores across the nation, including the one in Queens.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Steve Knight spoke to customers at the Queens’ Michaels

“I actually just paid cash so I’m feeling a little better now that you’re telling me this,” one woman said.

Michaels advises customers to check their account statements for unauthorized withdrawals. The chain has replaced more than 7,200 PIN pads in its 964 stores nationwide to make sure that the scam has been stopped.

Still, carrying a credit card requires caution, one woman said.

“Nowadays, nobody’s safe, I think,” she said.

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