Thieves Pick Up Credit Cards at Safeway Grocery Stores

by Alex Johnson 0

In the latest example of why the U.S. needs EMV, card skimmers have been found in several Safeway stores in California and Colorado.

“Safeway confirmed it is investigating skimming incidents at several stores,” cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs wrote on his Krebs on Security blog. (He’s the guy who broke the news about the huge Target data breach two years ago.) Safeway wouldn’t say which of its stores were affected, nor how many, but Krebs said bank industry sources told him stores in the Colorado municipalities of Arvada, Conifer, Denver, Englewood and Lakewood were hit, along with Castro Valley and Menlo Park stores in California. The term “skimming” describes the process in which criminals scan and store card data, usually via small devices, and then use the accounts for their own purposes.”

Skimmers are commonly found at locations where payment card readers are not closely monitored, such as gas stations and ATMs. According to Mr. Krebs, fraudsters that are able to install skimmers into payment terminals inside retail stores almost always have inside help.

Regadless of how it was achieved, this incident reinforces the need for merchants to enable their payment terminals to accept chip cards. Those that don’t will continue to find themselves the target of these types of skimming attacks.

Overview by Alex Johnson, Senior Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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