BATAVIA, Ill. — An internal investigation into identity thefts affecting some shoppers at Aldi found tampered debit-card readers in Aldi stores in 11 states, the retailer said last week.
Tampered payment card terminals were placed in some Aldi stores between June 1 and Aug. 31, the retailer said. The affected machines allowed thieves to steal customer information, such as names, account numbers and PIN codes, a crime known as “skimming.” It was not known last week how many customers were affected, although local reports in several states detailed such crimes in recent weeks.
Aldi said stores in Connecticut (greater Hartford area), Georgia (greater Atlanta), Illinois (greater Chicago), Indiana (greater Indianapolis), Maryland, New Jersey, New York (Rochester and Lower Hudson Valley), North Carolina (Charlotte and Raleigh), Pennsylvania (greater Pittsburgh and Philadelphia) and Virginia (greater Washington, D.C.) may have been affected. It said it was cooperating with law enforcement officials investigating the crime.
“At this time, we have no reason to believe that Aldi employees were involved,” in the tampering, the company said in a statement. It encouraged its customers to carefully review their debit- and credit-payment statements and their credit reports, and to contact their bank and local law enforcement if they believe their payment card was affected.
A similar crime affected Stop & Shop stores in 2007, resulting in prison terms for four California men. Stop & Shop subsequently replaced the affected terminals and bolted them to the point of sale to prevent theft. The affected card readers in that case were older machines that did not meet security standards of the Payment Card Industry PIN Entry Device.
An Aldi spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the additional security measures the chain has taken, or reveal the name and make of the affected card readers.