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Walmart shoppers warned to check their accounts as thief was filmed installing information-stealing device, it happened in seconds

Scammers were caught installing a skimming device on a credit card machine while shopping at Walmart.

Several other sites have also reported finding devices in their stores.

Security footage shows a Walmart customer placing a fraud detection device on a credit card machine.Credit: X/@WHEC_JLewke
One man distracted the cashier while the other put the device on the machine.Credit: X/@WHEC_JLewke

In the security footage, there are two men and a woman on one side of the register while an employee cashes them out at a Walmart in Oswego, New York in 2023, according to CBS affiliate WROC.

One of the men begins counting change, distracting the woman long enough for the other man to turn on a skimmer.

The illegal scam technology is designed to adapt to a credit card machine and steal your card information.

He is captured pressing the device onto the credit card dispenser to ensure a perfect fit.

The woman has her arm around the man and her body blocks the view of the alleged crime from others who may be waiting in line.

Once satisfied, they quickly walked away from the scanner and the man handling the money continued to wait for the clerk to finish counting his many coins.

SUSPECT ARRESTED

It took a few days before the retail giant realized this scam.

Other reports of skimmers began coming in from other locations upstate, including Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca and Steuben counties in upstate N.S. York.

Walmarts in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts were also affected.

‘Inspect it first,’ cops urge as 18 information-stealing devices discovered just days after $1 million drained from victims’ accounts_KSNV

The skimmers were placed at the retailer between July 2 and 8, 2023, before a Walmart employee realized something was wrong.

During the seven-day period, 27,144 credit card numbers and 2,195 debit card numbers were compromised.

The major scam resulted in at least $10,000 in suspicious transactions and a loss of money.

Customers who visited the sites in early July were asked to check their bank accounts and monitor any fraudulent activity.

Police also recommend buyers use credit cards instead of debit cards because it’s easier to get a refund.

What is a skimmer?

A skimmer device is a fraudulent tool designed to steal sensitive credit or debit card information during transactions.

  • Think of a skimmer device as a sneaky thief hiding in ATMs or card dispensers.
  • Its job is to secretly steal your credit or debit card information when you use it for a transaction.
  • These devices are like tiny spies that can copy your card details, including card number and PIN, without you even realizing it.
  • Skimmers can be cleverly disguised to look like a regular card reader, making them difficult to spot.
  • Once they have your information, the bad guys can use it to create fake cards or buy things without your permission, causing a lot of trouble and stress.
  • It is important to always be careful and check for anything unusual on card machines before using them to protect yourself from these sneaky devices.

If a credit card machine appears damaged or wobbly, it may have been tampered with and should not be used.

On April 10, police filed a criminal complaint against suspect Romario Serban.

He allegedly entered the United States illegally.

“According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (“CBP”) reports, the most recent travel information regarding Serban indicates that Serban left the United States in 2018 on a flight to Portugal,” according to the affidavit.

“CBP believes that Serban most likely reentered the United States illegally.”

Serban was located and arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, for his alleged participation in “a fraudulent credit card diversion scheme involving 19 Walmart stores, primarily located in New York City.”

Several Walmart branches across the country were affected in early July 2023Credit: Getty