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LI's Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace reports computer data breach

The fruit market at Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace in

The fruit market at Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace in Smithtown. (March 12, 2010) Credit: William Perlman

Long Island-based Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace has become the latest retailer to report a computer data breach, affecting three of its stores and an unspecified number of customers.

The Farmingdale-based chain of five supermarkets said in notices to customers and on its website that "persons from outside of the United States" had breached its credit card database system, affecting its East Meadow, Port Washington and Smithtown locations, but not its Port Jefferson or Massapequa stores.

A chain co-owner, Carl DelPrete, said the compromised information included credit and debit card numbers of an unknown number of customers who shopped at the three stores between late January and the end of February. "At this point, we don't know how many credit card swipes were affected," he said in an interview.

He said the hackers obtained card numbers and expiration dates but not cardholder names, personal identification numbers, security codes, customer addresses or any other personal information.

He said information associated with Uncle Giuseppe's savings cards also was unaffected by the security breach.

DelPrete said a bank alerted the company to the breach on Feb. 24 and that the store in turn alerted the Secret Service. "Our system has been revamped in such a way that the fraud . . . can no longer be perpetrated," he said.

A notice of the breach was posted on the company's website Feb. 28, DelPrete said, and the company has notified its regular customers of the breach via an email blast and with letters posted in its stores.

The disclosure follows similar breaches since the holiday shopping season at Target Stores, Neiman Marcus, arts and crafts retailer Michaels and others.

The notice on Uncle Giuseppe's website urges shoppers to check their bank statements for unauthorized activity.

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