Online retailer Monoprice takes its site down as customers complain of fake charges

lectronics retailer Monoprice.com is down, and likely to remain offline for a week or two as the company investigates dozens of complaints of fraudulent charges, voiced by its customers on the company's Facebook Page.

I called Monoprice on Tuesday afternoon and they said that they hadn't found any signs of a breach, but that it would be one to two weeks before they were back online. They've already been offline since Sunday, and when an online retailer goes down for a couple of weeks, you know that's not a good sign.

On the other hand, it's nice how transparent the company has been about the problem, posting Facebook and Twitter updates, and allowing some pretty serious customer complaints to be voiced on its Facebook page, which seems to be where customers figured out the reason for the outage.

UPDATE

The site looks like it's online now, but you can't order anything from it. It has a note, which reads:

A few of our customers recently reported to us that information from credit cards they used on the Monoprice website had been misused. We promptly began an investigation with the help of expert computer forensic investigators to determine if any card data had been stolen from our computers.

To date, the investigators have found no evidence that card information has been stolen from Monoprice’s computer network. As a precaution to ensure that our customers’ information is not at risk, we have taken our website offline temporarily while we and our investigators complete the audit of our computer network.

We want to ensure that there is no security vulnerability in any part of our computer network system. We notified local and federal law enforcement agencies, our credit card processing business partners, and all credit card companies that some of our customers reported concerns regarding their card information to us.

We also advised these entities that we are working with outside security specialists to determine if there was breach of our computer system. We will post additional information when it is available. We regret any inconvenience that our investigation and the temporary suspension of the Monoprice website may have caused you. Thank you so much for your great support.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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