Spokane grocery chains see rash of identity theft; urge customers to pay with cash, check

SPOKANE -- A bevy of Spokane area grocery stores are requesting customers pay with either cash or check in the coming weeks in an effort to avoid a possible security breach that may have put thousands of customers' banking information in jeopardy during the past two months.

According to the Spokesman Review, 12 Yoke's Fresh Markets and 21 Rosauers stores in the Spokane area are not allowing usual payments with debit and credit cards while investigators continue to secure a computer network that was hacked in the last few months.

The recommendation to stop credit or debit transactions at the stores was made by URM Stores, a Spokane based wholesaler that processes a large share of electronic payments for the stores, the Spokesman Review reported. URM said a large number of customers have seen some form of identity theft in the past few months. Many have seen purchases overseas, the Review reported.

It is not clear whether every customer who has used a card at the stores in the past two months had their information compromised, the Review reported. But until the problem is fixed, customers will have to pay with cash, check or use a dial up connection to access their credit card; a process that takes a few minutes and can back up easily.

The CEO of Rosauers, Jeff Phillips, said the grocery chain will offer a discount on purchases to make up for any inconvenience.

Phillips said it was a horrible time of year for stores to discontinue accepting cards.