Counterfeit credit cards are fakes that have real account information stolen from victims. Often, the victims still have their real cards, so they don't know a crime has occurred. The cards appear legitimate, with issuers' logos and encoded magnetic strips.
In some cases, the crooks have gotten the information through "skimming," which refers to using a device that reads and duplicates the information from the original card when it is used at an ATM, a gas pump, etc. Sometimes it is dishonest business employees who use small machines called "skimmers" to capture numbers and other information from credit cards and resell it to criminals, who create counterfeit cards or charge items over the phone or the internet.
Counterfeit cards often are used just a few times and abandoned before the victim becomes aware and reports their misuse.
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