The list of St. Louis-area consumers who recently fell victim to credit card fraud after using their cards at Schnucks grocery stores now includes a metro-east couple.
Anna Perret said she and her husband discovered about $10,000 missing from their bank accounts after each recently used their debit cards at the Schnucks store near their home in Swansea. When they went to use their cards earlier last week, they discovered that their cards had been canceled.
The couple contacted their bank, Bank of America, who traced a number of recent transactions totaling between $600 and $3,000 that were made in Canada, near Montreal. When the couple traced where they had recently used their debit cards, they discovered they had both used them at Schnucks.
The couple contacted Schnucks and Swansea police. The money was returned to their accounts. But Perret said she still wants an explanation from Schnucks.
"In that last 48 hours, $10,000 was just gone from our checking accounts," Perret said. "Luckily, the Bank of America was nice and they knew it wasn't us. They returned the money back into our accounts, so we're not victims anymore. The biggest thing that we're still upset about is that Schnucks did not come out and explain to us happened."
No one from the grocery store chain's headquarters in Maryland Heights, Mo., could be reached for comment Thursday.
Swansea Police Sgt. Greg Woolery said the department has fielded one credit card fraud complaint last week from a couple in the village who shopped at the Schnucks store but could not confirm if it was the Perrets. He also said that there may be little that local police can do about this particular crime because it occurred outside the country and is highly technical.
"Everything I've heard about this is there is not a lot whole lot that we will be able to do about it because we have no idea who accessed the account and we're not equipped technologically to track something like that," Woolery said. "Apparently the card was used somewhere outside of the United States. We don't have the ability to look into it much beyond what we have right here in town. There is no way that we would be able to tell when they accessed the account and how they were able to access the account. We are in the process of looking for someone that we will forward our information onto."
The Attorney General's office in Illinois has received two complaints from consumers who used credit cards at Schnucks. Illinois Attorney General spokeswoman Maura Possley said credit card fraud and other forms of identity theft have been the second-most reported consumer complaint recorded each year across the state for each of the last four years. Only consumer debt issues have been more prevalent.
Perret said she went back to Schnucks after her account was replenished. She said she will still shop there, but will be more careful.
"What I am going to do is every other day I'm calling an 800-number for my bank statements to check my automated balance and getting my automated balance list of my last five withdrawals," she said. "I'm checking it every other day."
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2526.