The illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or debit card by “skimming” it through a rogue card reader out of sight of the cardholder or attached to an ATM machine. Skimming is a more direct version of a phishing scam. Once scammers have skimmed the card, they can create a fake or “cloned” card with the cardholder’s details on it and can then run up charges on the account, borrow money or take out loans in the cardholder’s name and use the details to commit identity fraud.
Phishing scams are typically fraudulent email messages from seemingly legitimate sources (your internet service provider, mobile phone provider, bank etc). These messages usually direct you to a counterfeit website or ask you to divulge private information (password, PIN, credit card numbers, or other account updates), which is then used to commit identity theft.
Issued by a bank as part of a current account and, in a nutshell, serves as electronic cash. Unlike a credit or charge card, where you get an interest-free period before you have to settle the bill, the funds spent on a debit card are withdrawn immediately from your current account. Unless you’ve arranged an overdraft, if you don’t have the cash in the account, you can’t spend it.