Potential Identity Theft at Super Luperon...


I live in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste.  One of the main supermarkets where Fran and I do our grocery shopping is a market called Super Luperon.  They are a great store, clean, good selection and most importantly, reasonable prices.

But what I don't like about Super Luperon is the risk one takes when using a debit or credit card to pay for groceries.

Here is what happens:

  • When all the groceries have been entered into the cash register I give the cashier my debit card

  • My account number is then entered into the keypad on the register.  SEE FIGURE #1.  This number can be seen by anybody with 20/20 vision standing 10-15 feet away.

  • After the account number is entered, the cashier swipes my card into a card reader and enters some additional codes.  Fortunately, the codes are only readable on the card swipe.  SEE FIGURE #3.

  • While the additional codes are entered, debit card number remains on the screen, visible to any passerby to view or photograph.

  • By the way, to get these pictures, a friend of mine casually walked up next to me and snapped away (using my cell phone) and then walked away.  Nobody said a word.

 That's all it takes to steal one's identity at Super Luperon.  Click on pictures to enlarge.




I write this story not to denigrate Super Luperon but to point out a serious flaw in their cash tendering process.  We as consumers should be super diligent in how we transact business, especially electronically.

I have written to Super Luperon and made them aware of this particular issue.  I sincerely hope they take this matter to heart and correct the problem.  I really like shopping there but from here on out I am more likely to forego the convenience of my "tarjeta del plastico" and use cash (efectivo) instead.


*** UPDATE ***

Within four hours of sending an email to Luperon Headquarters, I received an email response from Kristian Faerron Barrera, Gerente General. 

"Estimados Andy y Fran.

Muchas gracias por su comentario sobre el tema de la digitación de los números de las tarjetas de crédito. El tema ya lo habíamos solicitado al ingeniero en sistemas para que lo elimine pero todavía no he tenido respuesta de él.

En el momento que el ingeniero me responda le informo.

Muchas gracias'


The best I was able to discern from their response is that they thanked me for my comments and they had requested an engineer to see if they can remove the card number from the screen.  When they hear back from the engineer they will get back with me.

Kudos to Super Luperon!


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