Skimming can occur whenever an ATM card is used. While technically credit cards can also be skimmed, ATM cards are the criminal's favorite because of its immediate access to untraceable cash. Examples of typical skimming locations are:
|Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)|
|Cash registers that accepts ATM card payments|
|Self Service Kiosks|
At these skimming locations, one of the following card readers can be used to legitimately read the card data:
- Motorized card reader. This type is most commonly found in higher end ATM machines. In this case, after initial insertion by the user, the card automatically transports the card completely into the reader, and ejects it again once the transaction is completed or aborted.
- Dip card reader. This is the type of reader where the user manually inserts the card into and pulls out of the reader. This type of reader is common in gas pumps.
- Swipe card reader. With this reader, the magnetic strip is read by swiping the card lengthwise through a slot. Typical applications are payment terminals on checkout counters in stores, and entry systems.
All the above card readers can be skimmed.