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Grocery stores urge use of cash or check

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:49:28 PM MST   Updated On: Nov 26 2013 11:36:56 PM MST

Owners of several chains of grocery stores are asking their customers to possibly pay with checks or cash while responding investigators work to secure a hacked computer network. The hack may have taken place over the past two months, and may impact customers in parts of Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. A Spokane-based grocery wholesaler, URM Stores, processes electronic payments made by shoppers at several chains, including Rosauers and Super 1 Foods.

NBC Montana visited the Missoula branch of Rosauers to track the impact. Jerry Kuykendall, Store Manger, tells NBC Montana that it’s not known if customer numbers have been compromised, and teams are working to figure that out. In the meantime, customers wishing to pay with card are using a dial-up machine at the store.

Kuykendall says the customers are dealing with a bit of a delay, but “They’re getting through pretty quick.”

A sign was posted up at the front of the store, advising customers of the cyber attack and explaining that Discover Cards and gift cards can’t be processed for the time being. The store also put a 10 percent discount on customer purchases through Wednesday, as a way of thanking customers for their patience.

“My personal recommendation would be anybody that has a card that uses it anywhere, keep close tabs on it, whether you’re using it here or anywhere else in town,” said Kuykendall.

Customers NBC Montana spoke with on Tuesday said the back-up dial up system was worth the added security, and they appreciated the discounts. News of the hacking was surprising.

“I think it’s scary,” said customer Beverly Nordhagan

 "Espesically being the holdiays and whatnot, that somebody would be that low in life to kind of spoil the holiday season for families and whatnot," said customer Gary Lancaster.

URM’s CEO posted a letter on the company’s website, advising customers that the company is cooperating with law enforcement officials to investigate and apprehend whoever is responsible for the attack. Folks who suspect their credit or debit card has been compromised should contact their bank immediately. Large credit card companies have “zero liability” policies protecting cardholders from dealing with fraudulent charges.

URM is asking customers who have questions to call 877-237-7408 Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. PT and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. PT on Saturday. Click here for more information.