Is Your Credit Card a Target for Electronic Pickpocketing?

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credit card securityNowadays, shopping can be done faster than ever, thanks to the latest technology in credit and debit cards called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). RFID involves a tiny device inside of your credit or debit card that sends out a radio signal with your credit card information.

RFID was designed to improve the overall user experience with a faster method of payment. While it’s extremely convenient, there are a few serious security concerns associated with this new technology.

The “Safety” of RFID Credit Cards

Large credit card companies say that RFID is very safe and convenient as it uses “sophisticated fraud prevention.” However, this may not be true. According to credit card protection specialists, it’s simple to obtain a credit card number, expiration date, and other information required to clone a card.

How can this be possible? A cheap credit card reader can be found on the Internet for less than a hundred dollars. Rather than stealing a credit card, the reader allows criminals to simply pass the reader over your pocket and pick up information from the radio chip inside, often referred to as “electronic pickpocketing.”

It’s actually simple and practical to read someone’s card without removing it from his or her wallet. A reader can be hid up the criminal’s sleeve and passed over an individual’s wallet with very little trouble.

What Happens if Someone Steals My Credit Card Information?

New technology often comes with additional security risks. Stolen credit card information can be copied onto any type of card, such as a hotel room key and then used as a credit card. Security experts have successfully tested this theory.

In addition to credit cards, many passports and IDs also have an RFID. To make matters worse, RFID technology can be used as a tracking mechanism as well.

How Can I Protect My Credit Cards and Myself?

While there are products available to protect your cards from fraud, you can also wrap your credit cards in a piece of aluminum foil. This prevents the radio signal from being sent out, keeping your credit card safe from criminals. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your bank, and let them know that you’d prefer a credit card without an RFID.

For more information about electronic pickpocketing, watch this video.

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