Police from the Hudson Valley issued a warning after a device that steals your credit card or bank information was spotted at a popular store.

The Town of Ramapo Police Department took to Facebook to warn residents that officers are investigating an incident involving a skimmer device installed on a self-checkout register at a popular local retail store.

Illegal Skimmer Spotted At Rockland County, Walmart

Walmart store exterior

The skimming device was spotted at the Airmont, New York Walmart on January 31, 2023, police say.

"It is unknown at this time when the device was placed on the register. Anyone who used the self-checkout register at Walmart is encouraged to check their accounts for suspicious activity," the Town of Ramapo Police Department stated. "Please contact your bank if you observe any suspicious activity on your debit or credit cards. If you find that you were a victim of a skimming activity that occurred within the Town of Ramapo please contact RPD."

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What is a Skimmer?

Ulster County Executive's Office
Ulster County Executive's Office

Skimming scams can happen at cash registers, ATMs, gas station pumps and other unattended payment terminals.

"Skimmers are illegal card readers attached to payment terminals. These card readers grab data off a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe without your knowledge. Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to buy things online. You may not know your information has been stolen until you get your statement or an overdraft notice," Ramapo police add.

Skimmers are illegal credit card readers attached to payment terminals. They allow a third party to collect credit card data, including personal identification numbers, which can then be used for fraudulent purchases.

The skimmer, which looks very similar to the original card reader in color and texture, fits right over the card reader. When a customer inserts their ATM card, their bank account information on the card is skimmed or stolen and usually stored on some type of electronic device.

Skimmer Uses Hidden Camera

Town of Ulster Police
Town of Ulster Police

A hidden camera is typically used with a skimming device to record a customer's ATM PIN, police say. Cameras are usually concealed somewhere on the front of an ATM.

The use of a keypad overlay, which is placed directly on top of the ATM's keypad, is a new technique that can take the place of a hidden camera. Instead of recording a user's PIN, the keypad overlay stores the actual keystrokes.

Credit card skimming results in over $1 billion in fraudulent credit and debit card charges per year, according to the FBI.

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Notify the bank or your local police department if you observe any suspicious equipment or activity at an ATM.

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