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Chelsea police warn public about ‘skimmer’ device found at Market Basket

A Market Basket store in Salem.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Police in Chelsea are warning the public about “skimmer” devices that scammers use to steal information from credit and debit cards after one was discovered at a local Market Basket.

“The CPD is aware of a fraudulent credit card reading device referred to as a ‘skimmer’ being placed on a register at our Market Basket,” police wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “We have the device and are working with the Market Basket as well as our regional partners to see if the devices are related to other recent incidents.”

Skimmers have been found recently at Market Basket stores in Reading, Somerville, Haverhill, and Concord, N.H., officials said. A device in the Reading location was found on Oct. 26.


On Wednesday, Market Basket said they are taking appropriate security measures.

“Market Basket has strong internal management systems in place and is aggressive in conducting multiple security checks daily to protect against credit card skimming devices that have been discovered at different retail stores throughout the region,” the company said in a statement.

“Members of our Chelsea store management team found a suspicious device attached to a single payment terminal yesterday at 4:24 p.m. A review of the security footage indicates it was placed there six minutes prior at 4:18 p.m. We immediately contacted the local authorities,” the company said.

The company said it had “not received information that any customer data has been compromised in this or the prior incident.”

Police are advising customers to check electronic devices before using a credit or debit card. Skimmer devices are typically found at gas pumps, ATMs, transit ticket dispensers, and other point-of-purchase machines.

“As thieves become more savvy, it’s important for you to keep your eyes open when using your credit or debit card,” police said. “Card skimming devices can be difficult to spot. They are typically installed on the outside of machines and look as if they belong there.”


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.