Police: card skimmers found at Market Baskets in Massachusetts, New Hampshire

Local News

Skimmers designed to steal credit card information were on payment terminals in Reading, Somerville, and Haverhill, as well as in Nashua and Concord, New Hampshire.

Police are asking shoppers at area Market Baskets to stay vigilant after card skimmers were found at multiple stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Skimmers, devices surreptitiously affixed to payment terminals, can steal card details to send to a third party. Credit or debit cards must be swiped instead of inserted in order for the skimmer to obtain personal information.

Concord, New Hampshire, police said on Wednesday that evidence of skimmers were found at Market Baskets in the city and in Nashua, New Hampshire, and in Haverhill, Somerville, and Reading, Massachusetts.

Concord Police Deputy Chief John Thomas confirmed to Boston.com that while the investigation is ongoing, all five incidents may be connected. Thomas said that the individuals identified as placing the skimmers at each of the stores have dressed similarly each time, with a trench coat, flat cap hat, and surgical mask. 

Skimmer devices were located at a Walmart and a Market Basket in Concord, New Hampshire, last month; Concord police determined both were placed by the same two individuals.

The skimmer at the Walmart on Loudon Road in Concord was attached to a self-checkout lane terminal for two days before authorities were notified, Thomas said. At the Market Basket on Storrs Street, a card skimmer potentially affected shoppers in an express lane for 10 days before it was removed.

Somerville police said another skimming device was found at the Market Basket on Somerville Avenue on Oct. 30. It is unclear whether it was found immediately or affected any customers, Somerville police told Boston.com.

Thomas said that shoppers should not swipe their cards if the terminal’s chip reader slot is not working and should instead speak to a store associate.

“A telltale sign with these particular ‘skimmers’ is that the card 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,” Concord police said in a press release on Monday.

Market Basket confirmed one terminal at each locations was affected by the devices.

“At this time, we are not aware of any customer information being compromised, and we will continue to monitor this situation closely,” a Market Basket spokesperson said in a statement. “We are also working with both state and local authorities to help identify the responsible individuals.