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Card Reader Scam Hits South Bay Charity For Troops

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Customers using the self-checkout at a Lucky supermarket. (CBS)

Customers using the self-checkout at a Lucky supermarket. (CBS)

Betsy Gebhart
Betsy Gebhart has been a reporter in the KCBS Santa Clara county...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A charity group that benefits members of the U.S. military and needy veterans is the latest victim in the growing debit card reader scam at Lucky and Save Mart supermarkets.

More than 100 employees and customers have had their identities stolen at Bay Area Lucky supermarkets by thieves who tampered with the credit and debit card readers in self-checkout lines, according to the company.

The South Bay Blue Star Moms, a military support group, sends 600 care packages to troops during the holidays each year. Members of the group reported Sunday that Blue Star Moms was victimized by unauthorized charges on a card after shopping at one of the stores.

One of the mothers bought Christmas supplies at a Lucky in Fremont last month using the organization’s debit card.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

“She had used the card at Lucky on two different occasions,” said Carolyn Silberman, Treasurer of South Bay Blue Star Moms. “I jumped on the bank account to see if we were affected and sure enough, we were.”

Silberman said the group lost $3,000.

“They probably don’t even know who they’re taking this money from. They don’t care,” she said. “But the fact that it’s for the military that is supporting our country and defending our country, it’s unconscionable.”

Silberman said she is hoping the group will be reimbursed by its bank, but that is still uncertain.

Click here for information on how you can contribute to South Bay Blue Star Moms.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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