(KMOV.com) – St. Louis area-based grocery store chain Schnucks now says that 2.4 million credit and debit cards of its customers may have been compromised at their stores over a four-month period beginning late last year.
Fraudulent charges have come from around the world. The company first learned on March 15 of questionable activity and began an investigation on March 19. Schnucks said in pinpointed the problem on March 28 and executed a plan to contain it within 36 hours.
According to the company, from December 2012 to March 29, 2013, 79 of their 100 stores were affected by credit and debit card thieves. Out of the 78 stores, 58 of them were in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.
Officials said 54 stores in Missouri and 23 stores in Illinois were affected total. Stores were also affected in Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Click here for a full list of those stores affected by the fraud.
Many customers have questioned why they weren't informed earlier.
In a press release, Schnucks Chairman and CEO Scott Schnuck apologized to customers and said the company believes the problem has been fixed.
“On behalf of myself, the Schnuck family, and all of our 15,000 teammates, I apologize to everyone affected by this incident,” said Schnuck. “Over the years, technology has helped us deliver superior customer service, but it also introduces risks that we have actively worked to manage through compliance audits, encryption technology and various other security measures.”
Schnucks also said they don’t believe any personal information was stolen, only card numbers and expiration dates.
Schnucks has set up a call line for customers to use for any questions. The number is 1-888-414-8022. The line is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. and the weekend of April 20-21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Customers have asked me if it is safe to shop at Schnucks,” continued Schnuck. “Yes, we believe it is, and we will work hard to keep it that way.”