A cyber attack that targeted credit and debit card information of Bashas’ customers, is hitting local residents, according to recent reports.
Payson resident Al Charter said someone used his wife’s credit card twice at South Carolina gas stations recently and “we have never been to South Carolina.”
A representative from the couple’s bank, Wells Fargo, called them Sunday morning alerting them to the charges.
Another resident said someone had used
her credit card information at 2 a.m. recently in an Atlanta Kroger grocery store while she was safely asleep in her bed in Payson.
She caught the discrepancy early because she gets e-mail alerts from her bank every time her credit or debit card is used. She worries, however, that not everyone is so lucky.
“It is really scary,” she said. “My concern is there are a lot of elderly people up here and they may not have the wherewithal to check their bank statements.”
The woman said she knows of at least a handful of people that have had fraudulent activity on their accounts.
They include the woman’s neighbor who discovered someone in New Jersey had tried to make a purchase with her information and a friend who discovered someone in Cincinnati had used her information.
As it turns out, all of them had shopped at Bashas’. “It is a big deal,” she said.
On Feb. 5, Bashas’ confirmed hackers had gained access to debit and credit card information used at one or more of Bashas’ 130 locations in Arizona, which includes Bashas’ supermarkets, AJ’s Fine Foods and Food City.
Kristy Jozwiak, Bashas’ director of communications, said the company started getting calls from banks and customers in early February reporting fraudulent activity.
Although the company was not required to make a public announcement about the security breach until 100,000 customers were impacted, the company wanted to notify customers immediately, she said.
“We were recently the victim of a cyber attack by highly sophisticated criminals who gained access to parts of our systems to capture payment information,” according to a press release. “Bashas’ is and has been compliant with all Payment Card Industry (PCI) security requirements. However, we recently located and removed a highly sophisticated piece of malware that has never been seen before in the industry.”
The malware was in place for a finite period, Jozwiak said.
Bashas’ has added several security measures to protect customer information and encourages customers to monitor their accounts and report suspicious transactions to their bank.
In January, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office reported it had received more than 400 reports of fraudulent credit and debit card use.
The Lake Havasu City Police Department also said it had been inundated with credit card fraud reports.
A number of banks issued customers new cards after the breach was discovered.
To report fraudulent activity on your credit and debit accounts, call the Payson Police Department at (928) 474-5177.
If You Detect Any Suspicious Activity on Your Credit or Debit Card
Promptly notify the financial institution or card company, as well as the company at which the fraudulent transaction took place. You also should report any fraudulent activity or any suspected incident of identity theft to proper law enforcement authorities, the state attorney general and/or Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
To file a complaint with the FTC, go to www.ftcgove/idtheft or call 1-877-ID Theft (877-438-4338). Complaints filed with the FTC will be added to the FTC’s Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, which is a database made available to law enforcement agencies.
It is always a good idea to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once every 12 months by calling toll-free 877-322-8228, visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, or by completing an Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348
You can print a copy of the request form at: www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/reuestformfinal.pdf
Or you can elect to purchase a copy of your credit report by contacting one of the three national credit reporting agencies:
P.O. Box 74021
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
P.O Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834