Debit Card Skimming Reported.
Thanks to James Lanares of the Bay City News Service for breaking this story. If you patronize the San Carlos Lucky Supermarket, and you have used your debit card at those convenient self-checkout aisles, then you’ll definitely want to pay attention here. Save Mart, the parent company of Lucky Supermarkets, reported that they have discovered that some of the card scanners that are located in the self-checkout lanes in 20 of their Bay Area Lucky stores have been rigged with card skimming apparatus.
These devices allow thieves to capture the account number and PIN number from unwitting shoppers, which then allows the crooks to freely steal money from their checking accounts, or make unauthorized purchases. The bad news here is that the Lucky Store in San Carlos is on the list of stores where skimming devices were found. Wonderful…
How Can This Happen?
That was the first question that popped into my head. After all, aren’t these self-checkout kiosks located right in the very front of the store?? In front of all of the employees?? And right under all of those little blue security cameras? Ummmm… Is anybody minding the store, so to speak? This kind of breach is something you might expect at a remote ATM machine, or a dumpy gas station — NOT where you buy your groceries. Shame on Save Mart for not having better security in place.
What Should You Do?
According to Save Mart executives, the skimming appears to have taken place during the months (months!!) of October and November of this year. In response to this breaking scandal, an executive from Save Mart issues the following statement:
“At this time, we strongly recommend that anyone who used our self-check terminals in the affected stores during the months of October and November consider closing their bank account and opening a new one”
— Stephen Ackerman, Save Mart CFO
Before you take such a drastic step, you should call your financial institution first. According to the rep at Wells Fargo Bank, closing your entire checking account is an unnecessary step for this situation. They recommend cancelling your debit card and getting a new one issued — one that has a new account number and new 3-digit security code on the back. But again, call your institution and get their advice on how to proceed.
The bottom line is that even getting your debit card re-issued creates a whole series of headaches. If you use your debit card for automatic bill pay, or for online purchases, you’ll need to go onto each and every website and load in the new card information once your new card is issued. That’s what I will be doing today…
Thanks, Lucky. Safeway and Whole Foods just got one new customer….
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