Suffolk County

Police issue warning after credit card skimmer discovered at another Mass. Market Basket

CHELSEA, Mass. — Police are warning the public after a credit card skimming device was discovered Tuesday at another Massachusetts Market Basket location.

The fraudulent card reading device was placed on a register at the Market Basket in Chelsea on Everett Avenue, according to the Chelsea Police Department.

Customers who shopped at the store on Tuesday are asked to check their banking activity to see if anything is amiss.

That Market Basket store is busy from the time they open until the time they close,” Chelsea Police Captain David Betz said.

Captain Betz told Boston 25 that the device was placed at the pay terminal of an open register while a suspect distracted a cashier.

“There was more than one person. How many? I know there were several. If there were people outside, we’re uncertain. But we are confident there was more,” said Betz

Investigators say they have the device and are working with Market Basket and other regional agencies to see if the device is related to other recent incidents in the Bay State and New Hampshire.

A skimming device was found at the checkout at the Market Basket and Walmart on Storrs Street in Concord, New Hampshire, in October, according to Concord police. Skimming devices were found also found at Market Basket stores in Nashua, Hampshire, and at Massachusetts stores in Somerville, Reading, and Haverhill, authorities confirmed at the time.

In a statement in response to the investigations, Market Basket told Boston 25 News at the time that it’s “not aware of any customer information being compromised” at this time.

Police in Concord and Reading later released surveillance images of suspects wanted in connection with the investigations.

A “telltale sign” with the skimmers in question is that the chip reader slot is “inoperable and appears “jammed,” causing the customer to swipe the card so that the magnetic reader can steal the card information, police warned shoppers.

The Chelsea Police Department provided the following tips for shoppers:

  • Do a quick scan. Before using any machine, take a look to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with
  • Check the keypad. If the numbers are hard to press or feel thick, it might have a false keypad installed and you should move on to the next machine
  • Block your PIN. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand in case a camera is recording your number
  • If something looks suspicious, report it to store management

Still, shoppers are concerned.

“They are super popular. Most of my family shop here, so hopefully they fix it soon,” one shopper said.

“That’s awful. Thank God I pay everything cash, so I don’t have to worry about that,” another shopper told Boston 25.

Anyone who thinks they’ve been impacted or has information on possible suspects is urged to contact their local law enforcement agency.

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