• Self-checkout kiosks are being hit with a new threat
  • How to make sure you're not a victim of this scam

The Self-Checkout Controversy Reaches New Levels in Arizona

Self-checkouts in retail stores like Walmart have been in the spotlight recently. Critics have pointed to the corporate shift to cut labor costs and transfer the job of ringing up purchases to the consumer while increasing the price of merchandise.

Stores have railed against the sudden increase in shoplifting often associated with the machines.

Credit card skimmers have been found in retail stores.
Self-checkout machines are under a new threat. // Canva

As stores navigate the increase in shrinkage, they've increasingly burdened shoppers, forcing them to show receipts as they exit the store.

READ: A California Law Forced a Controversial Crack-Down on AZ Shoppers

The controversy has ramped up the argument: are self-checkouts good for consumers? Some stores have shut down or removed the kiosks altogether and returned them to in-person cashiers. The jury is still out on how they'll handle this.

Whether or not you're a fan of self-checkouts in retail stores like Walmart, there's a new reason to avoid them altogether.

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Beware the Checkout Chameleon: The New Skimming Scam

As if being accused of shoplifting isn't bad enough, Arizona shoppers have a new threat.

READ: Good Riddance! Self Checkouts Could Soon Disappear from AZ Walmarts

Arizona's Attorney General Kris Mayes advises Arizona drivers to beware of credit card skimmers found across the state at gas stations. There's a new twist on that scam hitting retail stores.

Credit card skimmers have been found in retail stores.
Savvy thieves can quickly install skimmers that fit over existing credit card machines. // Credit: FoxNews via FoxNews.com

FoxNews reports the Romanian mafia is unleashing this scam on unsuspecting shoppers: credit card skimmers installed in retail establishments. The thieves frequently target self-checkout machines in retail stores like Walmart, and they're disguised to look like the real thing.

Authorities advise shoppers to exercise caution when using a credit or debit card reader to check out. EBT users are also at risk.

Credit card skimmers have been found in retail stores.
It only takes a second for a thief to install a credit card skimmer. // Credit: FoxNews via FoxNews.com

How Credit Card Skimmers Work

The skimmers are devious chameleons. By design, they blend in seamlessly with standard credit card machines. As you pass your card into the slot, the skimmer captures your banking information and PIN and returns it to the scammers. The skimmers leverage Bluetooth technology to send your information to scammers.

Credit card skimmers have been found in retail stores.
Always check before you swipe your card. // Canva

It’s a silent heist, executed without sounding any alarms. Victims usually don't realize they've been compromised until strange charges begin appearing.

Check for a Skimmer BEFORE Swiping Your Card

Retailers know this is a threat and often install stickers on their credit card machines. First, look for the sticker. It could be a sign that someone has installed a skimmer if it's not there.

Credit card skimmers have been found in retail stores.
Check to make sure the face of the machine doesn't come loose before you swipe your card. It could be a skimmer. // Credit: FoxNews via FoxNews.com

Second, before you dip your card, wiggle the card scanner. You may find a skimmer waiting to steal your information if it moves or comes apart.

A little bit of forethought could save you thousands. Stay alert, stay informed, and let’s keep our hard-earned money just that—ours.

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