Scammers have their own methods, going above and beyond to deceive people. One of the most common ways is credit card theft through card skimming, which has recently come to light due to a viral TikTok video filmed inside a Walmart.
The alarming frequency of credit card information theft through skimming is a cause for concern. According to the FBI, this is due to the illegal installation of skimming devices on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or fuel pumps, which enables the capture of cardholder information, including their PINs.
This crime can take on several forms in practice. Thieves may install a tiny, hidden card reader in front of the normal one, letting customers complete their transaction as usual, unaware that their information has been stolen as a result of this transaction.
Another group of thieves takes a more sophisticated approach by getting custom-made replicas of card readers, which they place over the existing ones to capture the customer’s information.
The video posted by TikTok user Tori (@abundancetori) highlighted this type of card skimming, featuring the use of custom-made replicas of card readers in a Walmart store located in Houston, Texas.
Tori writes in the caption, “This is a public service announcement…@walmart come check on y’all’s people. My credit card info was almost stolen and I wouldn’t have known or had any clue how or why.”
In the now-viral video, with over 990k views, the OP states that she discovered the device while she was making her purchase.
“You guys please BE careful when swiping your credit card at any Walmart,” she warns, with a text overlay. “We just found a scammer device on the scanner,” Tori adds.
In the video, she mentions that the device she found was placed on top of the regular credit card payment machine and was used to steal credit card information. Tori claims that when she found this device, the manager at Walmart quickly grabbed it and walked off.
It’s worth noting that Walmart has experienced card skimming on their self-checkout machines before, but they are by no means the only chain to be targeted by this type of crime.
The discovery of card skimmers on machines at 7-Eleven by several users went viral last year. In 2014, 13 people were accused of using Bluetooth-enabled card skimmers attached to ATMs at gas stations across the southern part of the country.
@abundancetori This is a public service announcement 🗣 #walmart @walmart come check on y’all’s people. My credit card info was almost stolen and I wouldn’t have know or had any clue how or why. Please #sharethisvideo #fyp #scam #bewareofscam ♬ James Hype Ferrari Showmusik Remix – Showmusik
TikTok users are concerned about the prevalence of this crime and are urging shoppers to take precautions when using card machines.
The video created a buzz on TikTok and brought to light the danger that one’s money can easily be stolen without their knowledge while they’re simply going about their normal shopping routine at checkout.
Some of the viewers of the video warned people to be careful when paying with their credit cards, not just at Walmart but at any place that accepts card payments.
“NOT ONLY WALMART! Gas Stations, ATMS, Grocery Stores! use the chip/pin DO NOT put the card in the machine AT ALL,” one user warned.
Despite this, others were curious about how a card skimming device could have found its way onto a Walmart card machine, given the company’s well-established strict security protocols.
“So if they are watching you like a hawk checking out why aren’t they catching this happening?” one asked.
“Interesting…Walmart cameras can catch people not scanning food and other items without paying but not someone installing a skimmer,” another added.
In the video, Tori was lucky not to have had her money stolen by the card skimming device at the checkout machine, but this serves as a reminder for people to be cautious when using credit cards to make purchases anywhere – once your card information is taken by these machines, stealing your money will be a simple task for the thieves.
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