A new device called a “skimmer” has been spotted inside Walmart self-checkout lines, stealing your credit or debit card information and giving it to criminals.
Looking like the front of a typical credit card scanner, the device is placed over an existing credit card scanner by criminals and captures your credit card information as it is simultaneously being used to purchase an item.
Law enforcement officials say that they’ve seen the device typically outdoors, at gas stations or ATMs, but never inside a store before.
Once a card is swiped to a device with a skimmer attached, the bank account information is sent somewhere other than the store, allowing it to be used to purchase items online or anywhere else a credit card number can be used. Criminals are also able to reconstruct a card using the information and taking it to ATM machines to withdraw cash.
In Fredericksburg, Virginia, cash withdrawals were made from a local credit union from 37 members who had their information swiped from a local Walmart skimmer.
A Walmart in Kentucky had a skimmer on one of the self-checkout lines for an entire week before it was discovered, although local police have surveillance showing images of those who installed the device and are currently tracking them down.
Walmart’s Communications Director Erica Jones issued a statement about the devices:
“First and foremost, we have zero tolerance for any crime against our customers, our associates or our company. As soon as we heard about the possible fraudulent activity in these stores, we took action to protect our customers. We are working with law enforcement authorities to investigate this activity and are taking additional steps to help ensure that our customers’ transactions are safe, including increasing store inspections.” — Wal-Mart’s Communications Director Erica Jones
As a precautionary measure, customers are being told to slightly tug on card readers at self-checkout lines to ensure a device hasn’t been placed in top.
It’s also possible that a hidden camera has been installed nearby, or an individual is holding one, in an effort to record your PIN number. Being on the lookout for hidden cameras is a good way to prevent yourself from being victimized.
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H/T Mad World News