Giant Eagle finds credit card skimmers at 5 stores, including 3 in Cuyahoga County – Cleveland 19 News

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) – Giant Eagle announced Wednesday that they had discovered five skimmers in stores across Ohio back in November. Three of the locations were in northeast Ohio.

“There are actually people who will sell or rent them to you in order to get some of the data you can collect. “So there’s kind of a whole industry around them,” explains Alex Hamerstone, Advisory Solutions Director at TrustedSec and security expert.

Card skimming is not new. Fraudsters have been committing the crime for decades.

“It used to be that you could make credit cards out of VCR tape and cardboard, right, you could encode the credit card directly onto the VCR tape,” Hamerstone explained. “It’s not complicated, especially with the old magnetic strips.”

Hamerstone said the devices fraudsters use to steal your data have evolved over the years, now allowing criminals to install the devices in just seconds.

“The newer ones are actually in the slot, so they’re hard to see,” Hamerstone said. “It would be really difficult for anyone to discover these.”

On Wednesday, Giant Eagle announced that they had found five skimmer devices on the pin pads of their cash registers.

These locations include:

· 2801 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43221

· 6300 Biddulph Road, Brooklyn, OH 44144

· 1825 Snow Road, Parma, OH 44134

· 4401 Mayfield Road, South Euclid, OH 44121

Giant Eagle said the skimmer devices may have stolen information from a small number of customers who swiped their cards using the pin pads. They said customers who inserted or tapped their chip should be OK.

“The best advice I can give anyone: credit cards, obviously read your cardholder agreement, but they offer a lot more protection than a debit card, that's just how it is,” Hamerstone said. “Even if you are able to get your money back with a debit card, which is often the case with fraud, if you think about the average consumer, the average person who has lost all the money in your checking account for two or three weeks “That's the case.” A huge problem, right, it would cause problems for a lot of people, while fraudulent charges on your credit card would simply be disputed.”

Giant Eagle said they sent all skimmers for forensic analysis and have since trained all of their employees to detect these devices, which Hamerstone said is nearly impossible.

Giant Eagle said it has notified all potentially affected banks and credit card providers.

Hamerstone said another helpful tip is to sign up for bank and credit card alerts so you're notified every time your card is used.