Friday, December 6, 2013

URM assures shoppers that using their cards is now safe

United Retail Merchants (URM) a wholesale cooperative serving as many as 160 stores in Washington, Idaho and Montana, wasted no time to enhance security in their payment processing system, after a recent outbreak of fraudulent credit card cases were found to have originated at URM affiliated stores, to include Harvest Foods, Rosauers, Family Foods, Yokes, Super 1 Foods and Yoke’s stores.

URM stores issued a statement Dec. 2 announcing that they have finished implementing enhanced security measures designed to block the cyber-attack against its payment processing system. Customers may now resume using their payment cards (credit, debit, EBT, gift cards) in all member stores.

“Working with a leading payment card industry security firm, we have taken steps to block the attack,” said URM CEO Ray Sprinkle. “We are incredibly grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding. we are humbled by their support and continue to extend our sincere apologies for the frustration and inconvenience caused by this incident.” Sprinkle also commended the employees of URM and its member stores, “We are extremely proud of their dedication and hard work throughout this process.”

“We are learning from this experience and will continue to constantly look for ways to make our system more secure.” added Sprinkle.

Although this attack has been blocked from continuing, any card used before the attack was blocked (except separate stand-beside transactions) could have been accessed and may still be used to make fraudulent purchases. Thus, customers who used their card in a store before the attack was blocked out should continue to monitor their accounts for unauthorized charges and immediately report any such charges to the financial institution that issued their card.

Major credit card companies have “zero liability” policies that guarantee cardholders will not be responsible for fraudulent charges. Again, cards used through a separate stand -beside or dial-up system from Nov. 25 - Dec. 2 were not affected.

URM is working with the security firm, its payment processor, and the credit card companies to identify cards that may have been affected by this attack. After finding signs of the attack, the company devoted all of their efforts to stop it.

The investigation will now turn towards identifying the stores that were affected and for how long. When that occurs, alerts will be sent out to the companies that issued cards which might still be at risk. After they receive alerts, those companies can apply enhanced monitoring techniques or cancel and reissue the cards to protect their cardholders. We are also working with law enforcement to apprehend those responsible.

A dedicated call center remains open for customers who have questions. Customers may call (877) 237-7408, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. PT and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. PT on Saturday. Up to date information can always be found on the URM web site at under the “Credit/Debit Card Announcements.”

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