Credit card skimmer thefts at Wal-Mart could've been easily avoided

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Credit-Card Skimmer Thefts at Wal-Mart Could've Been Easily Avoided

Electronic devices that steal credit card data were found at Wal-Mart self check-out stations in Fort Wright, Kentucky, and Fredericksburg, Virginia.

"They installed a skimmer, which covered a credit card reader at this self-serve checkout, on May 11. It wasn't found until a week later," a WLEX reporter said.

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A local Virginia outlet reports the skimming device there was spotted after almost 40 customers noticed large ATM withdrawals were made without their knowledge.

Credit card skimmers can be relatively easy to install, according to cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs.
In a post on his website, Krebs says the exact devices used in the Walmart incidents overlayed the check-out terminals and were able to access not only the customers' credit card information, but also their PIN numbers.

But a skimmer can only get that sensitive information if customers swipes their credit card.
Credit card fraud was one of the main reasons banks began distributing chip-enabled cards — also known as EMV cards — to customers in 2015.

Learn more about smart chip credit cards:

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Credit card skimmer thefts at Wal-Mart could've been easily avoided
BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 10: Memory chip on a credit card, master card on December 10, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
A customer enters their pin number as they make a chip and pin payment via a Verifone Systems Inc. credit card payment device at a restaurant in London, U.K., on Friday, May 22, 2015. Credit and debit cards that can be used by tapping the reader are gaining users, and mobile apps are set to further boost the popularity of contactless paying. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee demonstrates the use of an iZettle chip and pin reader mobile payment device at the iZettle AB headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. Swedish payments startup iZettle AB, a rival to Twitter Inc.founder Jack Dorsey's Square Inc., raised 60 million euros ($67 million) to expand in Europe and fund a plan to offer merchants cash advances on future card sales. Photographer: Johan Jeppsson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 10: Memory chip on an EC card on December 10, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
Service Manager Morgan Mallory holds a Rail table side credit card processing device at Tableau, a Dickie Brennan & Co. restaurant, in New Orleans, Monday, June 15, 2015. Dickie Brennan & Co., which operates four New Orleans restaurants, expects to pay more than $25,000 to replace card readers and software once chip cards are phased in and magnetic stripe cards, which are easier for thieves to copy, are phased out. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Patron Jake Kratz, of Philadelphia, pays his tab with the Rail table side credit card processing device at Tableau, a Dickie Brennan & Co. restaurant, in New Orleans, Monday, June 15, 2015. Dickie Brennan & Co., which operates four New Orleans restaurants, expects to pay more than $25,000 to replace card readers and software once chip cards are phased in and magnetic stripe cards, which are easier for thieves to copy, are phased out. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2009, file photo, a MasterCard credit card with a computer chip is posed for a photo in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. By autumn 2015, millions of Americans will switch to credit cards with a computer chip instead of a magnetic strip _ 50-year-old technology that lingers on the back of U.S. cards and is easily copied by thieves, leaving people vulnerable to fraud. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
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Despite a 2015 deadline that switched some fraud liability from banks to businesses, CreditCards.com says about 30 percent of Americans still don't use or don't know if they have chip-enabled cards.


As of Friday, there are no reports that police have found the people responsible for the Walmart incidents.

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