July 17, 2024

Boston grocery stores are emerging as the latest hotspots for credit card skimmers. Roche Bros. Supermarkets recently discovered these illicit devices at some of their stores’ self-checkout counters, breeding more fear among shoppers.

The affected stores include:

  • Sudbury Farms in Sudbury, Mass.
  • Sudbury Farms in Needham, Mass.
  • Brothers Marketplace in Weston, Mass.
  • Roche Bros. Supermarket in Wellesley, Mass.
  • Roche Bros. Supermarket in Natick, Mass.

A skimmer was also spotted at a Cambridge Roche Bros. store.

Card skimmers, notorious for being used at gas stations, are used to stealthily scan cards and steal data for fraud. Notably, at least seven such devices have been discovered at New England stores over the past two months.

Recent Card Skimmer Reports

In Concord, New Hampshire, local police found two men shown in surveillance footage installing skimmers at a Walmart and Market Basket in mid-November. Another card skimmer was reported at a Market Basket store in Reading, Massachusetts. The device was removed before any customer data was stolen. In Chelsea, Massachusetts, police discovered a skimming device at a local Market Basket, which was taken down within six minutes.

Roche Bros. Supermarkets investigated two credit card skimmers at their Sudbury Farms grocery store off Route 20 and claimed appropriate measures were taken to secure all registers at all locations. The company insisted they committed to protecting customer information confidentiality and security.

How to Shield Yourself from Card Skimmers

A skimmer’s presence is usually indicated by a jammed card chip reader slot, forcing customers to swipe through the magnetic reader, a more vulnerable method. One precautionary measure is to tap the card for payment instead of swiping if the card has that feature.

Stores like Market Basket conduct daily security audits to detect and remove suspicious devices, ensuring the safety of their customers’ data. Customers should regularly check their accounts and report any unusual activities to their bank or credit card company. Additionally, consider closing or freezing your credit if your data has been compromised.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are card skimmers?

Card skimmers are illicit devices installed on card processing units like ATMs or checkout machines. They secretly scan the card and steal the contained data, later used for fraudulent activities.

What measures are stores taking to protect customers from card skimmers?

Stores are implementing various measures, including conducting daily security audits, regular maintenance and manual checks on their card processing units. Additionally, they are working closely with law enforcement agencies when a card skimming device is detected.

What should I do if a card skimmer compromises my data?

If your card data has been compromised, immediately report the issue to your bank or credit card company. You may also consider closing the affected account or placing a freeze on your credit as a precautionary measure.