A recent spike in fraudulent purchases made at Walmart has urged shoppers to be careful when making debit purchases unless a PIN is required.

In total, there have been warnings issued for 16 different states and Walmart has been identified as the common location where the stolen cards are being used.

All states involved have had different reactions to the fraudulent charges, with the most recent statement coming from the Philadelphia Credit Union on October 10.

The organization has stated that “The fraud pattern includes charges $50.00 and under which are being processed as ‘Pinless Debit’ transactions. During these transactions, your card is swiped, but you are not asked to enter your PIN or sign for the transaction.”

The organization has decided to mandate that all debit transactions made at Walmart conducted without a PIN will be denied, but the Philadelphia Credit Union is not the only organization implementing this rule.

Marylands’ Provident State Bank has also issued warnings to consumers that unless a PIN in required to complete a transaction, it will be denied. Even multiple credit unions in the state of Florida have noticed an uptick in debit card fraud, and in each case the common link is Walmart.

Reports of fraudulent debit charges in 16 different states is unsettling, but what’s more alarming is how they’re getting away with this. By keeping their purchases small enough to go unnoticed, they’ve been able to fly under the radar since July. These criminals continue to use the card until the balance is empty or until someone notices the fraudulent charges and notifies their bank.

As a consumer, you should always go with the credit option if it’s available. This way you’ll be equipped with better fraud protection offered by either your financial institution or credit card provider. If credit is not an option, always remember to enter your PIN. Lastly, always remember to monitor your account balances and if possible, set up notifications that will alert you of any purchases made on your account.

 

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