Food City grocers in Knoxville, Tennessee have found credit card skimmers on devices across three stores.

On Friday, Food City’s parent company, K-VA-T Food Stores, released a statement regarding the issue as reported by CBS affiliate WVLT.

“At K-VA-T Food Stores, the privacy and security of our customers is our top priority. We have security protocols in place at each location to help us identify fraudulent activity,” the company’s statement began.

Locations in Kodak, Gatlinburg, and the Mechanicsville area of Knoxville were targeted by scammers who placed the devices over register card scanners.  One skimmer was found at each of the locations.

The company clarified in its release that the skimmers found only have the ability to collect information from shoppers who scanned their card’s magnetic strip.  Customers who used a chip or tap-to-pay feature, are likely safe from these scammers.

Those who were exposed would have collected card numbers and pins, but no personal identifying information, like actual names.

Luckily, the stores identified the skimmers and the fraudsters who came to collect the devices were apprehended.  “We immediately removed the skimming device, contacted law enforcement, and launched an investigation,” the company said of it’s response. They went on to credit their “highly sophisticated video surveillance system,” for being able to identify the perpetrators well enough to cut them off before entering the store for their illicit devices.  The release went on to describe how the perpetrators were “intercepted and detained by our Security Department personnel before entering the store.”

After being taken into custody, the scammers revealed that either they or their affiliates had targeted other retailers in the area.

They also launched their own investigation to clear all other company devices of possible skimmers.

“We completed a thorough examination of the 2,500+ remaining card readers throughout the company and no other fraudulent activity was found. We also increased the number of times we inspect our card readers each day,” they said.

K-VA-T Food Stores have also reached out to all customers who they found to be impacted by the skimmer scheme.

A total of 146 transactions were found to be impacted by the skimmers.

The company has expressed that customers “are encouraged to remain vigilant by reviewing bank and credit card account statements and monitoring credit reports.”




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