By A.J. ALGIER
Sun Staff Writer
WESTERLY — A local woman is one of an undisclosed number of A.B. Monroe Dairy customers who is scrambling to fix problems after having had her bank card information compromised by hackers.
Carol Young received an email from the East Providence company on Saturday notifying her of the credit card breach. Young, concerned about opening the email and knowing the company was closed on Saturday and Sunday, called Westerly police. She said police advised her not to open the email. She deleted the messages believing them to be some sort of scam using the company’s logo.
However, the email messages to her two separate addresses were from the company owner, Matt Levin, explaining that their computer system had been compromised sometime between Saturday, March 29 and April 2. The message explained that credit and debit cards of customers who receive deliveries in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut may have been compromised and the company asked them to call for information on what they should do.
Levin said about 2 percent of online credit cards were compromised, but declined to say how many customers pay their bills by credit card or how many people shop at Monroe Dairy.
Young was part of that 2 percent, spending Monday afternoon at her bank trying to clear a number of charges to her credit card which had been used a number of times for purchases. She said the bank, which she did not name, notified her that her card had been blocked and was working with her on the “several thousand dollars of bogus activity.” Young said she is careful about how she uses her card and rarely lets it out of her sight, even at a restaurant or store and uses credit and not a personal identification number.
Meanwhile, Levin said the problem was fixed within hours after it was discovered and those customers who were found to have potentially had their cards breached were notified by email as soon as the company realized the depth of the problem.
Monroe Dairy has been in business for 125 years and its milk is supplied from mostly local family-owned dairy farms.