Fashion retailer Forever 21 reports payment card security breach

Blake Shelton appears on NBC's

Blake Shelton appears on NBC's

- Forever 21 Inc. announced today that an investigation is underway into a report from a "third party" that suggested there may have been unauthorized access to data from payment cards used at some of its stores.

The company said its investigation is focused on card transactions in Forever 21 stores from March through October.

Because of the encryption and tokenization solutions that Forever 21 began using in 2015, it is believed that only certain point of sale (POS) machines in some stores were affected when the encryption was not in operation.

Complete findings are not yet available because of the ongoing investigation.

Forever 21 joins one of dozens of companies that have been hit by data hacks this year alone: Arby's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Chipotle, Verizon, Equifax, and Whole Foods Market are among 37 companies that have reported a data breach in 2017, according to Identity Force, a personal information security and protection service company that tracks data breaches.

Customers should "closely monitor" their payment card statements, Forever 21 said.

It advises customers to keep a close eye on their credit- and debit-card statements and notify their bank or card issuer if any unauthorized charges pop up on them.