Rosauers OKs credit card use at stores after cyber attack

URM Stores, the parent company of Rosauers, announced Tuesday that it was okay for customers to resume using credit cards and other electronic payment methods after a “cyber attack” compromised its stores’ credit card systems last month.

Rosauers in Hood River, as well as other URM Stores-owned grocery chains around the Northwest, put bags over its credit card machines early last week and encouraged customers to use cash or check while a contracted security firm made security upgrades to URM Stores’ credit card system. Customers were permitted to use a slower dial-up card machine that was unaffected by the attack and were offered a 10-percent discount on their purchases for the inconvenience, which occurred during the busy Thanksgiving shopping week.

According to a Dec. 2 press release from URM Stores CEO Ray Sprinkle, the attack has been “blocked from continuing,” but he warned that any cards that may have been compromised could still be used to make fraudulent purchases and advised customers to monitor their accounts for suspicious activity. He added that URM Stores is still working to identify what cards may have been compromised in the attack and said the “investigation will now turn toward what stores were affected and for how long” and that his company is “working with law enforcement to apprehend those responsible.”

According to an Associated Press story last week, many of the compromised cards appear to have been used in eastern Washington stores. URM Stores is headquartered in Spokane, Wash.

Customers with questions are asked to contact the call center URM Stores has set up to deal specifically with this issue. The center’s number is 877-237-7408 and is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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