Walmart recently came under intense scrutiny when the credit card and identity information of thousands of customers was found to have been compromised by thieves who rigged credit card skimmers to the scanners at the checkout lines.
We've already reported on how thieves can potentially use an iPhone device to steal your debit card PIN, but credit card skimmers are a brand new threat. These devices attach to the top of a credit card reader and are small enough to be barely noticeable. Whenever a customer swipes their card, the skimmer steals their information.
Skimmers were recently discovered at two Walmart locations, and there be may be others that are still undiscovered.
The first of these skimmers was found at a Walmart store in Fort Wright, Kentucky, on May 11. Currently-unidentified thieves (who may even be employees of the store) were able to attach a skimmer to a self-checkout scanner. The device wasn't found for a whole week. Given the volume of customers that Walmart serves daily, that could be hundreds, even thousands of people.
For Wright Police Chief Dan Kreinest says, "To go inside a store like Walmart that has a lot of surveillance equipment and install a skimmer is pretty bold."
Police were able to pinpoint two suspects using security footage and have released that information to the public in an attempt to find them faster.
The second location was a Walmart in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which also had a similar device installed on their checkout credit card scanners.
All told, at least 37 local residents who were customers of that location have had their information compromised and their money stolen.
These unfortunate victims all had large sums of money ILLEGALLY withdrawn from ATMs all over the state.
It's believed that the skimmers in the Virginia store were placed sometime between March and April. The danger to the public is so severe that police advised all of the customers of that location to request a reissue of their credit/debit cards from their banks.
Walmart's Senior Manager of Communications, Erica Jones, was even forced to issue a statement regarding the matter so as to assure customers that Walmart employees were not to blame for these incidents.
"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."
H/T: wochit News