Investigators say a theft ring is apparently targeting credit card machines at businesses in Brooklyn Park, FOX 9 reports.
In one case, police say, thieves went over the counter to steal a credit card reader. Edwin Chele, co-owner of Maddie's Liquor in Brooklyn Park, told the station of what he believes was a three-person ring, where he was distracted in the back of his store by two women while a man unplugged the machine, put it in his pocket, and walked out of the store.
The machines reportedly have the ability to take payments and refund money onto credit cards.
Chele tells FOX 9 that machine is connected to his bank account, and the theft cost him $16,000.
Thieves also stole several credit card readers from the Brunswick Zone in Brooklyn Park and have uploaded nearly $200,000 to other credit cards, police say.
Police believe a ring of three to six people are responsible for the thefts, FOX 9 reports
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The Brooklyn Park businesses are the latest Minnesota businesses to be victimized in credit card-related thefts.
Last month, Minnesota-based Supervalu, which owns Cub Foods grocery stores, said that customers’ payment card information may have been stolen in transactions at some of the chain’s supermarkets.
Bloomberg said data may have been stolen from cards used at Supervalu stores from June 22 to July 17. The Associated Press said the breaches may have affected shoppers in Minnesota, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland and Missouri.
Also last month, Minnesota-based Dairy Queen said it was investigating a possible data breach, which apparently was caused by the same security bug that infected Target, the Business Journal reported.
“Customer data at a limited number of stores may be at risk,” Dairy Queen said in a statement. The company did not, however, disclose how many stores and customers might be affected.
Bankrate lists five ways thieves steal credit card information, as well as ways consumers can protect themselves.