Calhoun County's sheriff says his agency took more than a hundred identity theft reports that appear to be linked to the third party hacking of the debit and credit card system at the MAPCO convenience store chain.
MAPCO's corporate office issued a news release May 6 saying there was a security breach at many of its stores in seven states, and that credit and debit card information may have been breached. The statement says the stolen credit/debit card information may have been used in other transactions.
MAPCO's statement says the hacking apparently took place around March 19-25, April 14-15 and April 20-21.
Sheriff Larry Amerson tells Fox6 News his agency started taking identity theft reports weeks before the announcement from MAPCO.
"We've probably taken a hundred of those reports here," said Amerson. "There were so many, and there were other agencies taking them, that the Secret Service got involved.
"Working with the victims, they determined that the common denominator was MAPCO," he added.
MAPCO's statement says the FBI is involved as well.
Sheriff Amerson says when his agency posted the MAPCO release on its Facebook wall Monday, the post saw more than 60,000 views. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had been shared 468 times.
The Facebook post includes comments from people who say they were victims. They say their information was used for transactions in such places as San Francisco, South Carolina and Boca Raton, Florida.
Amerson says one of his own family members was apparently a victim, with his information being used at a restaurant in Northwest Florida. Amerson says the relative is attending school in Calhoun County and hasn't been out of state.
MAPCO's news release tells customers how to reach a special line to discuss hacking related issues.
"Customers with questions may call a special help line that has been set up by MAPCO for additional customer support at 877-297-2081 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time, and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time," the release states.
Amerson encourages anyone who may have been a victim to contact the sheriff's office for a report. He says that's how his investigators knew there was a problem in the first place. MAPCO says it intends to prosecute those responsible.
Amerson also encourages residents to check their credit reports, pointing out it's free to check once a year.
MAPCO's news release says the company operates convenience stores in Tennessee, northern and central Alabama, northern Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia, southern Kentucky and northern Mississippi under the MAPCO Express®, MAPCO Mart®, East Coast®, Discount Food Mart™, Fast Food and Fuel™, Delta Express®, and Favorite Markets® brands.
MAPCO has multiple locations in Calhoun County, many of which opened up in the last two years. There are three locations each in Anniston, Oxford and Jacksonville, and locations in Saks, Piedmont and Ohatchee. MAPCO also has two locations in Alexandria directly across Highway 431 from each other.
MAPCO original news release: http://www.mapcomartblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Security_Breach_Press_Release2.pdf
Calhoun County Sheriff Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calhoun-County-Sheriffs-Office/58410409188
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