OSWEGO, NY – A fifth Central New York Walmart has been confirmed to have a credit card skimmer at checkout over the Fourth of July weekend.
On Saturday, police confirmed a card skimmer located on Lane 1 of the Oswego Walmart at 341 State Route 104. The pull was not a self-check, Sgt said. Brian Thompson of the Oswego Police Department.
The skimmer is believed to have been installed on Sunday at approximately 9:29 am and discovered at 8 am on Wednesday. As of Friday, police had no reports of people discovering fraudulent accusations related to the skimmer.
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The skimmers were placed at Walmart stores in Auburn, East Syracuse, Camillus, and Fulton/Granby. All skimmers were reported installed on July 2nd and found on July 5th.
In addition to the Oswego Police, the police agencies working on the case include the New York State Police, Camillus Police, DeWitt Police, and Auburn Police.
DeWitt Police, Camillus Police and Auburn Police spokespeople said they are looking for three people — two men and a woman — who are suspected of installing the devices at various Walmart locations on July 2.
Oswego police posted photos of the suspects on Facebook. The suspects shown appear to be similar to suspects wanted by other departments.
The device found in East Syracuse was placed above a card reader in exit lane 6 when the cashier was distracted, said Lieutenant Jerry Pace, a DeWitt Police spokesman. A store manager was notified about the reader in Fulton and found it in his store on July 5th.
The devices are designed to look identical to the front of the card reader, said Capt. James Nightingale, a Camillus police spokesman. He said the devices can be easily lifted from the top of the card reader.
Nightingale said Camillus police were informed of the device, which was found on Camillus, by Walmart employees. He said employees told police that they were required to have all of their card readers checked by Walmart office representatives. The device was found in exit lane 5.
Customers who shopped at any of the four locations between July 2 and July 5 are encouraged by the police to check their credit cards and bank statements for fraudulent charges.
State police do not know if any customers had their information hacked at the Granby/Fulton Walmart, said Trooper Jack Keeler, a state police spokesman. The scraper was at exit lane 7 at the Granby/Fulton Walmart.
Auburn, Camillus, DeWitt and state police have not heard from anyone with a fraud charge as of Friday.
Some skimmers have Bluetooth capabilities that allow criminals to steal information remotely, while others require recovery to collect data.
Keller said the soldiers aren’t sure if the device they recovered at the Fulton store was Bluetooth-compatible.
Skimming occurs when devices illegally installed on ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) machines, or fuel pumps capture data or record cardholders’ PINs, Keeler said.
Criminals use the data to create fake credit or debit cards and steal victims’ accounts. It is estimated that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.
It is very unusual for a skimming device to be installed in such a public place. Keller said criminals usually target ATMs or registers in areas with less light or fewer people around.
He said, “It’s brave.”
If you have information about suspects or suspect you are the victim of fraudulent charges, the police have provided these contact numbers:
- State Police: (315) 598-2112
- Auburn Police: (315) 255-4703 or (315) 253-3231
- DeWitt Police: (315) 449-3640
- Oswego Police: (315) 342-8120
- Camilo Police (315) 487-0102
Walmart said Friday that customers who believe they have been affected should contact Walmart’s customer service team at 800-925-6278, in addition to contacting their bank.
Walmart also released a statement Thursday evening referring to the device in the store outside Fulton:
“We have controls in place that are designed to give customers a safe experience and we have measures in place that are designed to help protect against these types of crime. We are constantly improving and revising our protocol to better serve and protect customers, and will continue to work with the police and refer any additional questions to them.”
Other than Thursday’s statement, Walmart declined to answer any questions to help shoppers know if they have been affected.
Related articles: The questions Wal-Mart refuses to answer about the credit card skimmers found at 5 Central New York stores
Writer Riley Kirk covers breaking news, crime, and public safety. Have a tip, story idea, photo, question or comment? You can reach her at 315-396-5961, on Twitter @kirk_rylee, or [email protected].