What is Credit Card Skimming? Everything You Need to Know

  • Published on: 30 Nov 2023
What is Credit Card Skimming? Everything You Need to Know

Credit card skimming is a kind of finance theft that has become more common in the recent past. Here, scammers use a device called a skimmer to steal your credit card details. With your sensitive information at hand, they carry out fraudulent transactions using your card. 

To know the meaning of card skimming and how you can prevent it, read on.

What is a Card Skimmer?

Credit card skimming equipment refers to a device that masquerades as a point-of-sale terminal or an ATM slot. Scammers often fit the skimmer over the ATM slot or a merchant’s credit card terminal to capture details present in the magnetic strip of your card. 

These details include the following:

  • Full name
  • Credit card number
  • CVV number
  • Expiry date

Using these details, fraudsters can make unauthorised payments using your card, which ultimately results in financial loss.

Also Read: Learn To Use Credit Card Responsibly

Common Ways of Running a Credit Card Skimming Scam

Here are some common places where fraudsters set up card skimming equipment to capture your card details: 

Fuel Stations

Some petrol stations have skimming devices fitted in the point-of-sale terminal, which thieves use to create counterfeit cards.


ATM machines could also have skimming devices fitted in the card slot to capture your details. Unscrupulous individuals may also fix a small camera near the number pad in the ATM to capture your PIN. Though this practice is not technically referred to as credit card skimming, be aware of it when you use ATMs.

Retail Outlets and Restaurants

Sometimes, POS terminals at retail shops and restaurants may have skimming devices. A member of a skimming ring may secure employment at such stores to carry out this type of fraud. 

Shoulder Surfing

Here, the miscreant oversees you punching the code in the machine while posing as the next person in the queue to use the machine. 

Apply For Personal Loan Online

What Happens if You Fall for Credit Card Skimming?

By carrying out skimming of credit cards, fraudsters can perform these illegal activities:

Identity Fraud

By capturing your personal and card details, scammers can execute identity fraud. With these details, they can duplicate your account or take a loan in your name.

Card Replication

The thieves can also use your card details to create a counterfeit credit card and share it with other parties.

Unauthorised Purchases

Using your credit card details, scammers can also carry out unauthorised purchases from online or physical stores. 

How to Spot and Prevent Credit Card Skimming

Credit card skimming equipment generally blends in with ATM and POS machines and is not easily detectable. However, skimming devices generally stick out a little beyond the panel. So, if you find that an additional part is jutting out of the panel or if a part of the panel is loose, it may be a skimming device. 

Now that you know the card skimming meaning, you can prevent a credit card skimming in the following ways:

Use Contactless Payment 

Many credit cards now have Wi-Fi-like icons, which means you can use them for contactless payments. Since there is no need to insert your card into any device, contactless transactions are comparatively safer. 

Use a Chip Card 

Most credit card companies now issue chip-based credit cards, which offer a higher degree of security compared to one with a magnetic strip. If you still have a magnetic strip card, contact the issuer to replace it.

The issuer and the card you choose play a significant role in keeping your finances secure. With the Fibe Axis Bank Credit Card, you can ensure the best security as it is India’s first numberless card. A RuPay card linked to your UPI ID helps you eliminate the possibility of misuse through card numbers, CVV and other sensitive information. 

Additionally, it is a lifetime free credit card, so you need not pay any joining or annual fees. You can also enjoy cashback of up to 3% on every transaction as well as other perks. Download the Fibe Personal Loan App or register on our website to apply for this card now!

FAQs on Credit Card Skimming 

How can you prevent credit card skimming?

You can prevent credit card skimming by opting for a chip card, as they are more secure compared to ones with magnetic strips. In addition, you can opt for contactless payments, where you don’t have to insert or swipe the card in a point-of-sale terminal that may have been tampered with.

What is credit card skimming?

Skimming of credit cards refers to a form of theft where a miscreant uses a device to read and store your personal and credit card details. This information is used to carry out identity fraud and to make unauthorised purchases. 

What to do if your card is skimmed?

If your credit card gets skimmed, immediately block it and contact the issuer to inform them. However, note that you may not even know about this until the issuer informs you about illicit activities in your account. So, check your credit card statement regularly to monitor any such fraudulent activity.

Do credit card chips prevent skimming?

Yes, chip-based credit cards are more secure than those having magnetic chips and can help prevent skimming.

Can skimmers read tap to pay?

No, credit card skimming equipment can’t read tap-to-pay or contactless credit cards.


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