Skimming was traditionally the term given to cash machine fraud – where criminals fit ATMs with devices that can read credit cards. However, in the online version, they target checkout pages instead

GCHQ says you should never share any more information than necessary online

Thousands of online shoppers have potentially had their bank details “skimmed” on the checkout page of small business websites, GCHQ has warned.

The agency’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said it had uncovered more than 4,000 incidents where business websites have been unknowingly leaking customers’ financial details to hackers.

The NCSC warned that the scam was happening mainly on the websites of smaller businesses where cyber criminals were able to exploit “vulnerabilities” in the software.

The warning comes ahead of this year’s Black Friday sales event – with Brits tipped to spend £9billion online over four days.

The NCSC is urging small businesses to ensure their payment software is up to date to make it harder for hackers to infiltrate.

Skimming basically allows the scammer to read your sensitive information – such as three digit security code and card number


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Steve Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “On Black Friday and Cyber Monday [Nov 29] the hackers will be out to steal shoppers’ cash and damage the reputations of businesses by making their websites into cyber traps.”

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