Fred’s is a retail pharmacy and dollar store with 650 discount stores mostly located in the Southeastern United States.  On Monday, they announced that two servers that process credit card data after cards have been swiped at individual stores were hacked and data stolen from the magnetic strips of these cards.   Fred’s like most retailers in the United States still use the insecure magnetic stripe credit cards to process purchases rather than the more secure smart cards with computer chips that create a new authorization number for every transaction as are used throughout most of the rest of the world.  New rules that will go into effect in October will require all companies to start using the new smart cards or be held financially responsible for losses incurred through the use of continued use of magnetic stripe cards.  Some retailers, most notably Walmart have already switched to the safer smart cards.  The data breach appears to have occurred between March 23rd and April 24th.


If you shopped at a Fred’s Pharmacy or Fred’s Super Dollar store in March and April, you may wish to check out the statement of Fred’s which you can reach through this link for more information including information as to specifically which stores were affected.

You also should consider putting a credit freeze on your credit report.  You can find information about how to do this here in the Scamicide Archives.  In addition, you should monitor your credit card and debit card usage.  Of course, if you have been following my advice, you will have refrained from using your debit card for retail purchases because the liability protection you have when using your debit card is not nearly as strong as that you get when using a credit card.