Albertsons customers in the Tri-Cities are urged to closely monitor their credit and debit card statements after a data breach was discovered between June and July, affecting stores in nine states.
The security breach, attributed to hackers, could have begun as early as June 22 and lasted as long as July 17, affecting 180 SuperValu stores, as well as the Albertsons and New Albertsons chains. Affected customers are being offered free consumer identity protection services.
"There's no indication at this time that any data has been stolen," said Christine Wilcox, Albertsons' vice president of communications and public affairs in Boise.
Wilcox acknowledged that Albertsons' Tri-City locations were subject to the breach.
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Albertsons operates three Tri-City stores, two in Richland and one in Kennewick. Local managers declined to comment.
The chain "believes that the intrusion has been contained and is confident that its customers can safely use their credit and debit cards in its stores," according to its website.
SuperValu, a food retailer based in Minnesota that acts as Albertsons' third-party information technology services provider, announced the credit and debit card security breach Aug. 14.
SuperValu believes "criminal intrusion may have resulted in the theft of account numbers, and in some cases also the expiration date, other numerical information and/or the cardholder's name," according to a press release.
SuperValu had delayed notifying customers of the breach because it was working with law enforcement and a third-party forensics company to determine the breach's scope, the Associated Press reported. The incident remains under investigation.
Albertsons stores in Washington, Oregon, Southern California, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Wyoming and Southern Utah were affected by the data breach. Stores in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and two Super Saver Foods stores in northern Utah were unaffected.
ACME markets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey; Jewel-Osco stores in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana; and Shaw's and Star Markets stores in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island also were affected.
AB Acquisition is offering customers who may have been affected 12 months of free consumer identity protection services through AllClear ID. Information on the services can be found at abacquisition.allclearid.com or by calling 855-865-4449.
The Albertsons data breach follows Target's massive data breach, announced late last year, that involved data from tens of millions of customers' debit and credit cards.
UPS also reported a data breach this week that affected 51 stores in 24 states, including one Washington location not in the Tri-Cities.
-- Drew Foster: 509-582-1513; email@example.com