Schnucks shoppers encouraged to use cash, check until fraud problem resolved

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by KMOV.com staff / AP

KMOV.com

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 6:24 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 4:25 PM

(KMOV.com) – More Schnucks customers continue to report credit card fraud after shopping at local stores and now police are telling them to use only cash when purchasing items.

News 4 first learned about similar credit card fraud issues in St. Charles, Bridgeton and Creve Coeur. Customers say their debit and credit card accounts had been virtually charged without their knowledge. On Wednesday, customers at the Schnucks on Butler Hill in south St. Louis County have run into the same problem.

The victims who’ve contacted News 4 share similar stories to those previously reported. They  say they were contacted by their credit card companies and were told fraudulent charges are showing up on their accounts. Those charges have come from other states like Maryland.

The Secret Service has been contacted by police. It advises victims to be pro-active with debit and credit card statements and to check them daily if necessary.

In response to the reported fraud, investigators say avoiding credit card use is the best way to protects shoppers until the root of the problem is found.

Schnucks says it has hired a forensic firm to investigate the security breach and issued a statement about its response to the credit card fraud reports.

“Schnucks became aware on March 15 that some customers had noticed unauthorized charges on their card statements for credit cards they used at Schnucks. Schnucks immediately began to investigate these reports and has engaged outside experts, including a nationally recognized forensic firm, to assist. We are also cooperating with law enforcement authorities.

Protecting our customers’ information is a top priority. Unfortunately, reports of credit card fraud are something many retailers have experienced. We want to reassure our customers that we are diligently investigating this matter.”

The Secret Service says it might not be Schnucks’ system that’s the problem, but a third party vendor hired to process the transactions. Officials also say they believe card numbers were stolen during the process and used to make counterfeit credit cards.

 

Schnucks is based in Maryland Heights, a St. Louis suburb. Most Schnucks stores are in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

 

Anyone who notices fraud is asked to call their bank or credit card company and follow their instructions to report the crime.

News 4 is following the problem and will bring you more information as we find out more about the ongoing fraud issue.

A Facebook page has been created for victims of credit card fraud Missouri to tell their stories. Click here to check it out.

 

 

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