Police Investigate Alleged Identity Theft at Ralphs

COMPTON, Calif. (November 1, 2006) - Ralphs Grocery Co. here, a division of Kroger Co., Cincinnati, is cooperating with an investigation by police in Southern California into possible identity theft from debit card users who had shopped at a Ralphs store in Huntington Beach, Calif. Authorities said about 40 people who used debit cards for purchases at the store have had money taken out of their bank accounts over the last few weeks, in the form of withdrawals from automated teller machines in California and Arizona in amounts ranging from $300 to $700. The authorities said they are investigating whether someone hacked into Ralphs accounting systems, although they also said they have not ruled out possible involvement by Ralphs employees. Lynn Marmer, a Kroger spokeswoman, said the chain had received complaints from customers, "[and] we take it very seriously. We don't know whether we have a problem or not."

Supermarket News 11/01/06