(169 words, US, UK, CAN)
Skimming, sometimes referred to as “card skimming,” is a type of financial fraud in which information is illegally copied from the magnetic strip of a debit or credit card. Once a card has been skimmed, the criminals perpetrating the fraud can then clone the card and use it to make false purchases and/or steal the card holder’s identity. Account holders may be surprised to learn that their cards can be skimmed at their own banks, where criminals may place skimming devices over card slots at ATM machines. Unsuspecting customers will then swipe their cards and won’t notice anything out of the ordinary while completing their transactions. Men and women concerned about skimming should avoid outdoor ATMs that are not under bank supervision and surveillance, as well as those machines that well off the beaten path where a criminal won’t attract attention while attaching a skimming device. Concerned account holders also can closely examine their bank accounts online and examine ATMs before swiping their cards.