Police Warn of New Self-Checkout Scam

(RepublicanNews.org) – Two different Kroger stores were reportedly targeted by scammers in recent weeks. Police are investigating the use of a “card-skimming” device in both an Atlanta, Georgia store and an Elkins, West Virginia store.

Atlanta police were called into the Greenwood Ave SE store on June 6th shortly after the first device was spotted. The device in question was a false PIN pad placed over the front of a real card reader’s PIN pad at a self-checkout machine. By painstakingly reviewing the store’s security tapes, officers managed to find footage of two men allegedly placing the fake pad on the machine on June 2nd.

A fake PIN pad was also used by scammers at the Kroger store in Elkins, West Virginia. In this case, staff alerted police to its presence on June 21st. Law enforcement says it may have been placed over the self-checkout machine as early as June 15th.

Card skimmers collect details such as card numbers and PINs from an unwitting customer’s cards. Some devices can track which keys the victim presses, and in this way, the scammer can work out the person’s PIN. Others use a tiny camera to view the victim inputting their PIN. These details can then be sent straight to the scammers, who can use them to make purchases with their victim’s funds or even to create a replica debit or credit card.

It is not yet known how many people have been victimized by the scammers, or if the two incidents are related. In both cases, police are searching for two men and have been able to release images of one man wanted in connection with the Elkins device, and of two men wanted in connection with the Atlanta device. Police have asked the public to call them with any information they think may be relevant in their search for the suspects. Atlanta police have offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to a suspect’s arrest.

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