More than a dozen stores in Minnesota have been targeted by criminals looking to steal credit card information with skimming devices, including at least three grocery stores in the Twin Cities.
Card skimmers have been confirmed as being found at Lunds & Byerlys stores in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park and Woodbury. They're part of a wider Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension-led Financial Crimes Task Force investigating involving more than a dozen alleged incidents of credit card skimming that have happened recently across Minnesota.
According to St. Louis Park Police Department, a fraud report was taken just before 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, after a card skimmer was located at a checkout station inside the Lunds & Byerlys store located at 3777 Park Center Blvd.
That same day, devices were also found at Lunds stores in Woodbury and Minneapolis.
There are three Lunds grocery stores in Minneapolis, with the Star Tribune reporting that card-skimming devices were found at the store located at 25 SE University Ave. The Tribune adds that a man and woman were seen on surveillance video installing the devices.
Woodbury Police Commander John Altman tells Bring Me The News that "the skimmers popped up in a few areas across the metro," with only one discovered at the Woodbury Lunds & Byerlys located at 7050 Valley Creek Plaza.
Card-skimming devices are able to capture and store details from a card's magnetic stripe, including the credit card number, expiration date and the cardholder's full name. Thieve can then use that information to make fraudulent purchases online or make physical counterfeit version of the card, according to The Balance.
The BCA has not provided any more information because the investigation is ongoing, but they do offer tips to help avoid becoming a victim of credit card skimming.
- If you notice anything unusual, like peeled back security tape, pay in cash. It’s also okay to stop and start over at another check-out.
- Terminals in well-lit, busier areas are more difficult for the thieves to access unnoticed.
- Make it a regular habit to check your credit/debit card statements and credit history for unexpected activity.