Saturday, November 30, 2013
Rosauers Supermarkets are advising customers to use cash or check when purchasing goods at their stores after discovering that some of their customers’ credit cards were compromised in a cyber attack.
URM Stores, a company based in Spokane, Wash., that owns Rosauers in Hood River and other grocery chains, warned customers this week of the situation and suggested they monitor their credit card accounts for signs of any suspicious activity.
Credit, debit, and EBT card purchases can still be made via a slower dial-up connection that was not affected by the attack, according to a press release from URM Stores CEO Ray Sprinkle.
At the Hood River location, customers on Tuesday were notified of the issue upon entering the store and offered a 10-percent discount on all items (except pharmacy and services) as a way to apologize for the inconvenience. The deal ended on Wednesday.
According to an Associated Press report, law enforcement notified URM Stores after customers of Eastern Washington banks and credit unions reported noticing unauthorized purchases on their credit cards over the past several weeks. URM Stores is believed to be the source of the breach as a large number of the compromised credit cards were used to make purchases at URM stores. Sprinkle said he was unaware of whether the breach occurred at the store level or some other point in the company’s credit card network but noted that a “majority of our stores are at risk.”
It is unknown when things will return to normal at Rosauers. Sprinkle said in a press release that URM Stores has hired “a leading computer security firm to examine our system” and is “working around the clock implementing enhanced security measures to block any further unauthorized access to our system.”
Steve Morgan, store manager of the Hood River location, said Wednesday afternoon that he couldn’t comment on the issue and directed the News to Rosauers CEO Jeff Phillips, who operates out of the company headquarters in Spokane. A public relations firm for URM Stores later returned the call and offered no additional information other than to watch the company’s website for updates on the credit card problem.
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