SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A popular Long Island grocery store chain reported Thursday that it had been the victim of a data breach affecting credit card systems at three of its stores.

Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace said in a notice to customers that it recently learned its credit card system had been breached by a person or people outside the country. The breach affected the East Meadow, Port Washington and Smithtown stores, but not the Port Jefferson and Massapequa stores.

Within 18 hours of the breach being brought to the store’s attention, the store had worked with the U.S. Secret Service to take the necessary security precautions to prevent future breaches.

Uncle Giuseppe’s has also taken all necessary precautions to make sure banking institutions are aware.

No customers affected by the breach will be responsible for unauthorized transactions, the stores said.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this incident may have caused you. In this technological age, it appears that companies of all sizes are being targeted by hackers and criminals, and we encourage everyone to regularly check their bank statements to be sure that they were not affected by this breach,” Uncle Giuseppe’s said in a statement.

Uncle Giuseppe’s has set up a customer service line for all inquiries about the problem. They ask that customers call Heather Hyman at (516) 420-0126 ext. 111 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Several major retailers have suffered security breaches over the past several months – most notoriously Target Corp. The big-box retailer disclosed in December that about 40 million credit and debit cards may have been affected by a data breach that happened between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, just as the 2013 holiday shopping season was shifting into high gear.

The Michaels arts and crafts chain and the luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus also revealed major security breaches in the past few months, and just this week, published reports said the Secret Service was looking into a possible data breach at Sears stores.

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