Skimming is a method of credit card fraud, whereby a fraudster 'skims' or reads and copies the information on the magnetic strip of a credit card.

The information is then used to create a dummy or 'cloned' credit card with the same information on it as the cardholder's, and is then used by fraudsters to run up bills on the cardholder's account.

A card skimmer is a device slightly smaller than a packet of cigarettes, that can either be carried on the person or fitted to the slot on the front of a cash machine. These skimmers are often accompanied by a miniature camera over the keypad or the cash point, so once a card is skimmed the fraudster can also see what the cardholder's pin number is.

The introduction of chip and pin technology has gone a long way to reducing skimming, as traditional card skimmers cannot copy the information on a chip.

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