What is skimming?

Point of Sale (POS) Glossary

Skimming uses a rogue modification of a point of sale register to capture card information as it is run through the terminal. Criminals place nearly invisible devices on POS systems and they record card information, which is either transmitted to criminals or later physically retrieved. As a card is inserted into a POS, it must run through the skimmer first.

Skimming does not compromise the electronics or security of a POS system. Instead it relies solely on external means to record cardholder data. Sometimes cameras are also installed in a skimming operation to capture a customer’s keystrokes as they enter a PIN or zip code. The video is later matched up to the card that was compromised by the skimming device.

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