U.S. law-enforcement officials are investigating a security breach involving “a limited number” of PIN-debit terminals deployed at Aldi grocery stores, a spokesperson for the Batavia, Ill.-based company tells PaymentsSource. Aldi stores accept only PIN-debit transactions and cash for payment at the point of sale.

Crooks apparently tampered with the terminals at some stores so they could steal customers’ payment card information, the company noted in a Sept. 17 news release. The spokesperson declined to comment on anything more than what was in the release.

“Aldi has conducted a thorough review of all stores nationwide and removed terminals that may have been affected,” the company said in the release.

Aldi operates about 1,000 stores in 29 states, and it serves more than 18 million customers each month. Rhode Island and Florida were new markets in 2008 and Texas stores will be coming in 2010, according to the company’s website.

The grocery-store operator says it has notified payment card companies so they can take appropriate steps to monitor card activity and possibly reissue cards. Aldi says it also has stepped up its security measures to prevent similar types of attacks from occurring again.

Aldi declined to reveal specific details, citing the ongoing investigation.

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