Hundreds of Arizonans, if not more, are victims of a highly sophisticated
cyber attack on Bashas', AJ's Fine Foods, and Food City grocery stores. The latest victim to come forward is former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.
Gordon said he discovered his identity was stolen recently. Someone made fraudulent charges on two of his credit cards.
"It makes me angry," he said. "It's an inconvenience."
Gordon estimated that roughly $1,300 worth of merchandise was charged on his cards. The purchases were made at electronics and department stores on the East Coast.
Gordon said his credit card companies alerted him to suspicious activity. The crooks apparently made small charges first.
"Eight dollars, five dollars," he said. Once those charges went through, they attempted to make big purchases, he added.
Gordon says everyone should take a look at their accounts.
Bashas' Family of Stores is putting out the same suggestion. Bashas', AJ's Fine Foods, and Food City are part of the same parent company.
Kristy Jozwiak, Bashas' director of communications, said in an email that the company contacted customers who recently reported an issue and posted a consumer advisory in every store location.
In a news release, the company said it discovered "malware that has never been seen before in the industry." The Pinal County Sheriff's Office said that thieves were able to gain access to parts of the company's security system used to capture payment information. Bashas' said the malware has since been "contained."
Jozwiak could not provide a time frame but PCSO said the cyber attack happened in June or July 2012. Jozwiak disputed this information and said Bashas' learned about the attack recently.
PCSO said there are roughly 400 cases reported within its jurisdiction. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has 11 cases.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said fraudulent charges were made on his card over the weekend. He may be the 12th victim.
PCSO released a surveillance photo of three men who are considered investigative leads. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities.
PCSO said the FBI is now leading the investigation.