Thieves in Piedmont Triad target self-checkout lanes

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Thieves are going beyond targeting ATM machines and gas pumps to steal debit and credit card information.

They are also putting skimming devices directly in stores on self-checkout payment machines.

The Better Business Bureau recently released a consumer alert saying large retailers have reported finding skimming devices on self-checkout payment machines in the past few months.

“Especially at the big box stores you may think that it might be more difficult for folks to put a skimmer inside the store, but it can be very easy,” said Kevin Hinterberger, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina.

Although Greensboro Police are not working any self-checkout cases, skimming is still an issue especially at ATM machines.

The Greensboro Police Department is currently working cases where suspects are seen placing skimmers at ATM machines.

“Anything that's available to us to do investigations with is also available on the black market to criminals to steal your information,” said Robert Mensel, a detective in the Greensboro Police Department’s financial crimes unit.

Police advise checking the machine for anything that seems out of place on the machine such as tape or bulky parts.

Victims are also asked to report skimming incidents to their local police department.

The Better Business Bureau’s report did not name specific retailers other than to say “big box stores.”

However, we contacted local stores in the Piedmont that offer self-checkout including Walmart, Food Lion, Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter.

We contacted these stores for comment on protocol in place to protect consumers’ personal information.

Food Lion provided the statement below according to our deadline request.

Walmart provided a statement after our initial request was declined. The statement below was sent shortly before the segment aired, which is why it is not included in the broadcast report.

Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter did not send statements as of Tuesday evening.

Food Lion provided the following statement:

    “The safety and security of our customer information is a top priority and Food Lion is not affected by the situation noted below.  We have stringent security measures that we adhere to in order to protect our systems and our customer data and for security purposes, we do not elaborate on those procedures.

Also, it's important to note that Food Lion only has three customer self-checkout registers at our nearly 90 stores in the greater Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem market. This is a very small percentage of registers in the market.”

 Walmart provided the following statement:

“We’re happy to share we’ve had no reports of skimming incidents in North Carolina but want to emphasize we have zero tolerance for any crime against our customers, our associates or our company.

We require customers with chip-enabled cards to use that technology for their transactions in all of our U.S. stores. We believe this is the most secure technology for customer transactions at Walmart or any other retail location and encourage customers to take advantage of this technology wherever they shop.”