If you shop at Schnucks in Cape Girardeau or Carbondale, you could be among more than two million potential victims of credit card fraud.
More information from the grocery store chain came out today after they launched an investigation into the breach, announced last month.
As Schnucks releases more details on the scope of their investigation, new information from the Department Of Justice shows credit card data theft is up by 50-percent.
What's more, government experts say thieves have learned they can make a lot more money by attacking big businesses and companies just like Schnucks.
Here is more on what company CEO Scott Schnuck had to say, and what you need to know about protecting and monitoring your information.
"Over the past few weeks we identified how the attack occurred, blocked it from continuing and determined the scope," said Schnuck.
According to Schnuck, that scope hits 79 of 100 stores, including Cape Girardeau and Carbondale stores between December 2012 and March 2013
He says that only card numbers and expiration dates were accessed-not names or addresses.
"We are working with our card processors to provide all potentially affected card numbers to the banks that issued them and the banks can then conduct enhanced monitoring or issue new cards," said Schnuck.
According to company representatives, a cyber hacker launched a code into their processing system allowing the hacker to grab card numbers and expiration dates as customers waited for their transactions to be authorized.
"If you used your card at one of the stores involved between December 2012 and March 2013, please monitor your account," Schnuck said.
Meanwhile, according to government figures from the Department of Justice, between 2005 and 2010 credit card fraud grew by 50-percent.
Nationwide, experts estimate millions of card numbers are out there for sale going for $10-50 each.
Cyber experts say personal and business credit card fraud continues to grow because it is hard to catch culprits. These days, they say you should assume you will be a victim.
What can you do? According to Dr. Vijay Anand head of the Cybersecurity program at Southeast Missouri State University, a secure password is the key. Use at least eight characters, making at least one a special character like a percent sign, or tilda and scramble it up.
"You should mix in the lower and upper case letters and put the numbers and the special character in between them in places that make the password harder to crack," said Dr. Anand.
Anand suggests an example like this: Hb1*DB~79jW
Dr. Vijay Anand at Southeast Missouri State University says browsers like Firefox and Chrome are much safer than Internet Explorer, and you can download those free.
He also says type in https:// when possible to make sure you are on a secure site.
Dr. Anand says it has actually been proven it is extremely hard for the human brain to memorize multiple passwords. Yet those passwords are the key to your protection.
He says companies are putting a lot of research into finding a better way, like using pictures instead.
However, when it comes to a company breach all you can really do is monitor your accounts.
Dr. Anand also recommends these sites:
Local police say they also work to combat this problem.
"Anytime we hear about a possible local breach we let people know," said Darin Hickey of the Cape Girardeau Police Department. "I always tell people to use diligence in checking on their accounts. The more you know about your accounts the quicker you will know if something happens. Documentation is also very important for detectives to have from the victim. Every case of identity theft is different and the investigation all depends on the circumstances."
Security experts tell us hackers are generally after user names and passwords as well as PIN numbers.
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