Costco Wholesale Corporation announced that it has discontinued the use of its online photo printing store on reports that U.S. customer credit card information could have been accessed by hackers.
The Costco announcement stems from a recent data breach with PNI Digital Media that has also affected customer accounts with Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, CVS Health Corporation, Rite Aid Corporation, and Tesco’s, a U.K. grocery chain. The Toronto Star reports that PNI Digital Media is based in Vancouver and owned by Staples.
Costco Customers Advised To Check Credit Card Statements
Costco has noted that PNI had limited access to customer data. Other retailers had advised their customers to closely monitor credit card statements for any suspicious transactions; Costco online photo printing customers are advised to do the same. Discrepancies on monthly credit card account statements should be immediately reported to the issuing credit card company who will advise on how to proceed; in most cases, refunding erroneous charges immediately.
The following Staples statement was reported by the Toronto Star with regard to the breach also affecting Costco.
“We take the protection of information very seriously. PNI is investigating a potential credit card data issue, and outside security experts are assisting in the investigation. If an issue is discovered, it is important to note that consumers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity on their credit cards that is reported on a timely basis.”
Other areas of the Costco website were not affected. Only credit card accounts that had been used to make purchases with the Costco online photo printing store are reported to have been at risk. Steps have been taken to ensure Costco customer data is no longer at risk. However, Costco and other customers should be continuously on the lookout for potentially fraudulent activity in any account. The Costco announcement only serves to exemplify this.
Costco Announcement Latest In Long Line
In the wake of the Wal-Mart-PNI Digital Media data breach revelation, it was reported that as many as 60,000 customer accounts may have been accessed. There has been no word from Costco on an estimate of the number of accounts that were impacted. The Inquisitr has also reported on the recent Ashley Madison breach.
Costco operates over 664 warehouses in 10 countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. The company employs more than 110,000 full-time employees and is forecast to generate $117 billion in sales this year and $126 billion next year. While Costco’s sales are impressive, its growth has slowed. Costco profits are expected to grow 12 percent this year and 8.6 percent in 2016.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan Getty Images]