Some of Walmart’s stores in New York this month had incidents of credit card skimmers at registers.
NewsChannel 9 reported in mid-July that the devices were found in 14 of the retailer’s locations across the Empire state. The installations took place between July 2 and July 5, according to the outlet.
Skimmers facilitate the theft of consumer’s information for those who affix them to credit card machines.
In a news release, the Auburn Police Department said Walmart employees became aware of one of the credit card skimmers at the city’s location on July 5, three days after it had been attached to the terminal. In Camillus, another of them had been put on lane No. 5, the Camillus Police Department reported in a July 7 Facebook post.
Two Walmarts in Maine also reportedly saw such devices earlier in the month.
More recently, on July 21, a card skimmer cropped up at a Walmart in Niagara Falls, adding to the locations where they have been found, per WGRZ.
“Providing customers with a safe shopping experience is a top priority. We’re continually reviewing protocols and adding enhanced security measures to better protect in-store-transactions,” Walmart told FOX Business in a statement. “Also, this situation remains an on-going criminal investigation, and we’re actively engaged with various law enforcement agencies.”
“Customers concerned they may have been impacted can contact their card provider or Walmart Customer Care Team at 800-925-6278.”
Walmart’s retail presence in New York includes nearly 100 stores, according to its website. In the U.S., the retailer has over 3,500 total supercenters.
When using point-of-sale terminals, the FBI has said people should be wary of “anything loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched” to help avoid becoming a victim of a card skimmer. The practice of pulling at the terminal or keypad to see if it comes off can also help, according to the agency.
In a video published in April, the El Cajon Police Department in California said to look for stickers placed on credit card readers by stores as a signal for a legit terminal. That department handled a dozen skimmers that had been placed on devices at various retailers in a one-year period, it said.
Cards that offer chips or tapping to pay generally have more protection from the devices compared to magnetic strips.
Thieves also often put skimmers on gas pumps and ATM machines, with the illegal practice wracking up over $1 billion in costs on an annual basis overall, according to the FBI.