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Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

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

Thieves recently placed devices that can steal credit card data in self-checkout stations at two Wal-Mart locations.

By Katherine Biek | May 27, 2016

Electronic devices that steal credit card data were found at Wal-Mart self checkout 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.

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

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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 Wal-Mart incidents overlayed the checkout terminals and were able to access not only customers' credit card information, but also their PIN numbers.

But a skimmer can only get that sensitive information if customers swipe 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.

But 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 Wal-Mart incidents.

This video includes clips from Wal-MartVisa and CreditCards.com and images from Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0 and Getty Images.

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