The Wilmette Police Department has handed off the investigation of 22 cases of identity theft — all citing the local Treasure Island Grocery Store at 911 Ridge Rd. as the suspected point of theft — to the U.S. Secret Service, according to police.
Use of the fraudulent accounts have been linked to a variety of locations, with seven incidents occurring in Texas, one in Missouri, one in South Africa and two incidents in Chicago.
"Treausre Island Foods deeply regrets any inconvenience to our customers," a statement from Treasure Island said. "Credit card companies have recently advised that computer hackers are targeting grocery merchants. We are cooperating one hundred percent with the U.S. Secret Service and the Wilmette Police Department in the investigation of what appears to be an international hacking conspiracy."
The statement also noted that Treasure Island is complying with the highest standards of security to protect their system.
"Computer hacking and identity theft have become unwelcome parts of contemporary life for both merchants and their customers," the statement said. "Treasure Island will continue to comply with the highest standards of data system security to protect our customers, ourselves and the communities we have proudly served for 50 years."
The incidents have all occurred between March 1 and April 19.
Six cases of identity theft linked to Texas have also occurred in the same time frame that have not yet been linked to a suspected point of theft.
The cases of fraud are being investigated by the Secret Service, as the incidents cross state lines and Treasure Island is a corporation.
"[Treasure Island is being] investigated by the Secret Service," Wilmette Police Commander Patrick Collins said. "All we know is that ... the Secret Service said that there was a compromise to the Treasure Island computer service."
Residents who believe that they were a victim of fraud should contact the Wilmette Police Department immediately, as the police are still taking reports and assisting residents with documenting the fraud for insurance and bank purposes.