Thousands of Walmart shoppers have been scammed with new ploy. Here’s what you need to know

As if Walmart didn’t have a bad enough rap with allegations that the retail giant is bad for local communities, uses child labor, underpays women, and steals wages steals wages amongst other accusations, Walmart shoppers now run the risk of being scammed while shopping at their stores.

Thousands of Walmart shoppers have reportedly had their identities and credit card information stolen after criminals rigged store registers with card skimmers.

Devices found at two Walmart locations. The first was found on May 11, 2016 at a Fort Wright, Kentucky location and the second in Fredricksburg, Virginia.

Source: Harry Williby

The devices look just like the regular credit card readers and basically clips onto the face of a credit card reader in the store. When a customer pays for an item using the machine, the skimmer takes all of their personal information such as credit card information and PIN numbers. They are often found on ATM machines or gas station pumps.

The skimmers weren’t found in Fort Worth until a week after they were installed by two men.

“First and foremost, we have zero tolerance for any crime against our customers, our associates or our company, Walmart Senior Manager of Communications Erica Jones told WCPO. “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.”

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Flickr/Mike Mozart
Source: Flickr/Mike Mozart

Fredricksburg police suggested that anyone who shopped at the Central Park Walmart in March and April make sure that they contact their banks and have new cards issued to them.

Following the incident, they found that 37 credit unions had large numbers of withdrawals from local ATM machines that were made with stolen card numbers from the Walmart skimmers, according to Fredricksburg.com.

These skimmers are apparently easy to install and the reason why banks began issued chip enabled cards, or EMV cards, to customers in 2015, according to AOL.

There are some ways you can avoid getting scammed by a card skimmer, according to PC Mag.

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Tech Crunch
Source: Tech Crunch

Make sure you check the credit card machine for tampering and confirm that it looks like the other credit card machines in the store. Wiggle it around to see if it moves or com`es apart. Avoid using your PIN number when you can or cover your hand when entering your pin. Try using Apply Pay, Samsung Pay, or Android Pay where it is accepted. Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings.

Unfortunately, criminals use Walmart for a variety of other ways to commit fraud which you can learn about here.

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Source: Rumble featured image credit: Gazette Review

D.G. Sciortino
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.

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