There seems to be a term for nearly every specific type of hack or theft. Someone brought up the situation of an employee at a drive-thru window stealing credit card info when you make a payment and I was wondering if there was a specific term for that.


1 Answer 1



I was first aware of this term in reference to wait staff at a sit down restaurants (circa 20-preteens). And it has certainly come to encompass devices which gather card info at ATMs and fuel pumps.

But a google of "drive through skimming" found at least one story of McDonalds employees employing the practice and the author of the news story referred to it as skimming. So at least colloquially it's probably applicable. Although I'm not sure of a hyper-specific term for when it's done in a drive through only.

  • Oh interesting. I think I found the same article from 2015. It sounds like she had a device to do it, which is what I associate with skimming. Maybe she had a normal card skimmer just to make everything go quicker and not arouse suspicion.
    – deltaray
    Jan 26 at 4:29
  • Yea, the search has gotten muddled a bit because the FBI apparently focuses heavily on skimming/skimmers as the devices stuck on ATMs. But it was a human process early on, often occurring in Bars and Restaurants where they could take your card to the back for 10 minutes and do whatever with it. Drive through is pretty brave but apparently somewhat possible.
    – foreverska
    Jan 26 at 4:40
  • I believe that "skimming" is the official term, regardless of the method used (writing it down, photos, magstripe reader). This is from memory/experience. I can't find a source to back this up. One example is a booth in a mall, where the seller has 2 card readers and swipes both behind the counter.
    – schroeder
    Jan 26 at 8:57

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