QUINCY – Stop & Shop HQ announced Friday “it recently learned of an issue involving some of our customers’ personal information. We recently discovered that, at each of five Stop & Shop stores, someone had illegally placed a device that skims information from payment cards on top of a pin pad at one of the self-checkout registers.”
One of those five Stop & Shop was in Framingham.
“It is important to understand that not all Stop & Shop locations were impacted by this issue. In addition, not all customers who visited the listed stores during the relevant time periods are affected,” said Stop & Shop in a press release.
The Stop & Shop at 19 Temple Street was exposed between April 22-26.
“Immediately upon learning of the issue we took steps to secure this checkout lane and to review video surveillance to determine when the device was installed. We also notified law enforcement and began working closely with a third-party forensic investigator to determine what data, if any, it had captured,” wrote Stop & Shop in a press release.
“The devices were installed on only one pin pad at each of the affected stores, and the forensic investigation concluded that the devices were capable of capturing data from payment card EMV chips, but not from magnetic stripes. The personal information found on the devices included names, payment account numbers, and expiration dates for a limited number of customers who used the particular self-checkout terminals during the estimated dates of exposure below. The devices were designed such that extraction of the captured payment card transaction data would require manual insertion of a reader device into the card capture device, but the data could not be accessed remotely. We have been unable to determine if any data was extracted from the devices, but it is possible that data was extracted before the devices were discovered by Stop & Shop,” wrote Dean Wilkinson, Senior Vice President of Operations for Stop & Shop Supermarket Company.
“Based on our investigation, at this time, we have no evidence that any of the information has been misused as a result of this issue. Out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying you as we have identified that some of our customers may be affected. Please know we take our obligation to safeguard personal information very seriously and are alerting you about this issue so you can take steps to help protect yourself,” wrote Wilkinson.
You are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).
To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free at 1-877-322-8228. We encourage you to remain vigilant by reviewing your account statements and monitoring your free credit reports.
“When you receive your credit report, review it carefully. Look for accounts you did not open. Look in the “inquiries” section for names of creditors from whom you haven’t requested credit. Some companies bill under names other than their store or commercial names. The consumer reporting agency will be able to tell you when that is the case. Look in the “personal information” section for any inaccuracies in your information (such as home address and Social Security number). If you see anything you do not understand, call the consumer reporting agency at the telephone number on the report. Errors in this information may be a warning sign of possible identity theft. You should notify the consumer reporting agencies of any inaccuracies in your report, whether due to error or fraud, as soon as possible so the information can be investigated and, if found to be in error, corrected. If there are accounts or charges you did not authorize, immediately notify the appropriate consumer reporting agency by telephone and in writing. Consumer reporting agency staff will review your report with you. If the information can’t be explained, then you will need to call the creditors involved. Information that can’t be explained also should be reported to your local police or sheriff’s office because it may signal criminal activity,” advised Stop & Shop to its customers.
Massachusetts residents have the “right to obtain a police report and request a security freeze as described above. The consumer reporting agencies may require that you provide certain personal information (such as your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and address) and proper identification (such as a copy of a government-issued ID card and a bill or statement) prior to honoring your request to place a security freeze on your account.”