Card scrapers have been found in grocery stores across the Boston area in recent weeks, which could worry shoppers even more as they get food for the week.
Roche Bros. Supermarkets reported Wednesday that it recently discovered credit card skimmers in five stores:
- Sudbury Farms in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
- Sudbury Farms in Needham, Massachusetts.
- Brothers Market in Weston, Massachusetts.
- Roche Bros. Supermarket in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
- Roche Bros. Supermarket in Natick, Massachusetts.
Card skimmers are devices placed on ATMs or credit card readers that secretly scan cards, stealing the data on them, so that the person who put them in place can use the information to make fraudulent purchases. They're often associated with gas stations, but at least seven of the devices have been discovered in stores in New England in the past two months.
Recent NH card skimmer reports
(Concord, New Hampshire).
In mid-November, Concord police warned that two men wanted for trying to scam shoppers out of their credit card information across New England were seen on surveillance video installing skimmers at a local Walmart and Market Basket store.
On Oct. 19, the Walmart store on Loudon Road alerted police that a loss prevention associate at the store had found a credit card skimmer taped to one of the registers in the self-checkout lane. On Oct. 27, police received a phone call from Market Basket on Storrs Street reporting that a similar device had been found attached to one of the registers in the express checkout area, officials said.
The devices used to steal credit card data were installed at several Market Basket and Walmart stores in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Concord police said their investigation found that both devices they observed were installed by the same two people on October 17. Law enforcement agencies are investigating similar incidents throughout New England, they said.
Redding police said they received a phone call on Oct. 30 from a Market Basket security and loss prevention worker reporting that a skimming device had been found on a credit card machine at a register at the store on Oct. 26.
The device was found by Market Basket employees the same day it was placed, and a review of the data by the store's IT department indicates it was removed before any customer data could be stolen. A review of surveillance video shows one person distracted an employee while another placed a skimming device on the credit card machine.
One of the suspects was described as a man wearing a black hat, face mask, black jacket, white shirt, black jeans and white shoes. The other was described as a man wearing a black hat, face mask, black jacket, black shirt, blue jeans, and black and white sneakers.
Redding police said they are investigating the incident with the help of law enforcement partners in other communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
On December 5, Chelsea Police warned the public about a skimming device that was found in a register at a local Market Basket.
“We have the device and are working with Market Basket as well as our regional partners to find out if the devices are linked to other recent incidents,” they said in the post.
Police told NBC10 Boston at the time that the skimmer had only been running for six minutes. A group of people participated, with one distracting a staff member while another placed the device on the register.
A credit card skimmer was found at Market Basket in Chelsea, Massachusetts, police said.
Roche Bros. supermarkets announced On Christmas Eve two credit card skimmers were found on self-checkout counters at a Sudbury Farms grocery store off Route 20.
The company's CEO said in a statement that they “immediately took steps to secure all records at all locations and launched an investigation.”
Roche Bros. supermarkets announced That the scrapers were discovered at a Sudbury Farms store.
The investigation remained ongoing until Christmas Day. Roche Bros. said: It has determined that the Sudbury Farms store in Sudbury is the only location affected.
“Roche Bros. has strong policies in place to protect against these types of incidents, including performing multiple security checks daily on our records,” said CEO Kevin Barner. “Roche Bros. is committed to protecting the confidentiality and security of our customers’ information. We are issuing a press release to try to reach To affected and potential customers whom we cannot specifically identify.”
How to protect yourself from card skimmers
One sign of a skimmer being plugged is that the card's chip reader slot is inoperable and appears to be jammed, causing the customer to swipe the card so the magnetic reader can steal the card information.
Market Basket told NBC10 Boston that routine security audits are done daily, which is how they found suspicious devices at stores in Concord, Nashua, New Hampshire, and Haverhill, Reading and Somerville, Massachusetts.
The FBI shared this infographic depicting where criminals can place devices to steal information from card users:
If you have shopped using a card at a store where a skimmer was found, we encourage you to check your account and report anything suspicious to your credit card company or bank.
If your information has been compromised, you may also want to consider closing accounts or freezing your credit.
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