PHOENIX -- Sprouts Farmers Market has announced that shoppers who visited one of their Arizona or Southern California locations late last month may have had their credit card or debit card numbers stolen.
Sprouts said Friday that the point of sale system at 19 of their 151 stores was targeted by illegal software between Jan. 25 and Jan. 29.
Credit card terminals at 13 Arizona stores and six Southern California stores were victimized by the software.
Within hours of learning of the situation, Sprouts said they replaced all of the card terminals at the stores in question. They are now working with the data security firm FishNet Security to strengthen their point of sale procedures at all of their 151 stores.
Sprouts has also notified federal law enforcement, and is assisting with the investigation.
Anyone who shopped at Sprouts at the end of last month is being advised to review their bank statements to make sure that there aren’t any fraudulent transactions.
Sprouts said they are sorry for any trouble this incident may have caused, adding that they take the privacy of their customers very seriously.
"There's always going to be a threat," said Sprouts shopper Mark Bejarano. "As technology grows, threats will continue."
IT Security Specialist Francis Brown, a partner at the Phoenix firm Stach and Liu, said sensitive information is always at risk with the prevalence of malware and hackers searching for their next victim.
"I would say nothing is airtight, and the more functionality you add into any system, the more opportunity to compromise it," said Brown.
"You have to assume your information is out there."
Brown's firm has created a free tool, "NotInMyBackyard Diggity" to help people track their personal information online. For more information, go to www.stachliu.com/2012/08/quick-intro-to-notinmybackyard-diggity.
Meanwhile, for more information on the security breach visit www.sprouts.com/securityalertfaqs or call 1-866-890-8949.
Sprouts isn't the only store in Arizona to recently suffer a security breach.
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office said earlier this month that several fraudulent credit and debit card transactions have been linked to a cyber attack on several Bashas' stores.
Sprouts stores that suffered a security breach:
Avondale (1813 N. Dysart Rd. 85392)
Chandler (1959 W. Ray Rd. 85224)
Chandler (2855 S. Alma School Rd. 85248)
Gilbert (2582 S. Val Vista Dr. 85296)
Glendale (5130 W. Peoria Ave. 85302)
Glendale (5665 W. Bell Rd. 85308)
Mesa (1933 E. Brown Rd. 85203)
Mesa (5225 E. Southern Ave. 85206)
Oro Valley (7665 N. Oracle Way 85704)
Peoria (8375 W. Thunderbird Rd. 85381)
Phoenix (8040 N. 19th Ave. 85021
Phoenix (2824 E. Indian School Rd. 85016)
Surprise (13759 W. Bell Rd. 85374)
Claremont (835 W. Foothill Blvd. 91711)
El Cajon (152 North 2nd St. 92021)
Irvine (3775 Alton Parkway 92606)
San Marcos (149 South Las Posas Rd. 92078)
Thousand Oaks (600 West Hillcrest Dr. 91360)
Torrance (4230 Pacific Coast Highway 90505)