Card skimming

What is card skimming?
Card skimming is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic stripes on credit and debit cards. Card skimming is seen as a more straightforward version of a phishing scam. Store clerks skimming cards can do this by customers swiping their cards more than once or by moving the card to another location in the store. Card skimming can also occur if a perpetrator creates an ATM with a card skimmer. The end result of card skimming is unauthorized access to finances through the technique of illegally copying debit and credit cards.

Over the years, card skimming has become increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect for cardholders. Card skimmers now use features like tiny pinhole cameras to record ATM users' PIN numbers, which can be transmitted along with card data to a remote recipient.

To avoid card skipping, consumers must be on the lookout for red flags such as suspicious devices in ATM card slots or vendors swiping cards through more than one device.

The Data Security Standards Council (PCI) is working to combat card thieves with new payment proposals such as chip-based mobile payments as opposed to magnetic stripes. The PCI Council has also looked to educate consumers about the signs of card withdrawal, as education can be the best defense against this type of electronic crime.

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