A spokeswoman for Schnucks told Patch Friday night that the grocery store chain has not been able to pinpoint the source of a breach that has left customers across the St. Louis region vulnerable to identity theft and bank accounts at risk.
The Secret Service, which as of earlier this week was not officially involved in an investigation but had been in touch with local law enforcement agencies, speculated that it could be a third party which processes credit and debit card transactions.
Once those card numbers are obtained, they are sold online in a black market, purchased by someone who creates new cards with the old numbers and racks up charges.
In many cases, those charges are flagged by the card issuer and the consumer is cleared of responsibility, but not always.
"I shopped at Schnucks near Webster Groves on the 16th, I found out on the 26th that my bank account has been completely cleaned out," Patch user Bonita Gilmore wrote in commenting on an earlier story regarding the problem. "Somebody had a real good time in Long Island New York with my hard earned bill money, bad thing about it the bank didn't catch it," she wrote.
The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Montgomery Bank has taken a $60,000 hit because of the fraud.
Schnucks spokeswoman Lori Willis said the chain hopes to have updated information soon but could not provide a timetable of when that would be available.