If you shop at this grocery store, keep an eye on your credit card

If you frequent Safeway in either California or Colorado, it might be best to reconsider your method of payment for a while as they get to the bottom of a very serious theft issue. Somehow, the checkout lanes in various Safeway locations have had their credit card terminals tampered with. The chain is looking into the issue, as some customers are seeing money being drained from their accounts after shopping at the grocery chain.

So here’s the deal. Someone stealing money from your account through something like a credit card machine, or an ATM is called “Skimming.” The thieves, also known as Skimmers have the ability to scan credit card data. They install the skimming device between the keypad and the electronics beneath, allowing them to catalogue both card numbers and personal identification numbers (PIN’s). Then, this information is transferred to a NEW magnetic strip on a blank card. The card is essentially duplicated and used as a new credit card for the Skimmers.

Three Colorado grocers were hit by skimming attacks, and two in California. However, the California branches don’t seem to have had any data compromised in the breach, whereas Colorado did find that some customers’ accounts were hacked.

When fraudulent activity is found on a person’s credit or debit card, the owner of the card is not responsible. And as tempting as it is to just use cash when we hear stories like these about theft and fraud, as long as you keep an eye on your bank account, the bank can catch the activity quickly, even if they can’t trace it back to the source.