RFID Skimming: Is the Danger Real?
Some years ago, when credit card companies were looking for ways to make payment easier contactless payment was discovered. People who have cards with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can make payment by holding their card close to an RFID reader without having to swipe.
If your card has a wavy logo or marketing names like Express Pay, PayWave, Blink, and PayPass, then it is RFID enabled. RFID enabled cards emits radio signals. Hackers can pick the emitted signals using RFID readers, transform the signals into digital signals that will reveal your credit card’s information.
What is RFID skimming?
Skimming is a technique where criminals clone people’s cards. Skimming has gone to another level. You don’t have to insert your card in their compromised device. They have developed RFID readers that are capable of accessing your card at a distance. By walking or brushing by you with an RFID reader in their bags, the machine can not only steal your information but also transfer money from your card.
Now that you know what RFID skimmers are capable of, here are nine tips that will help you protect your credit card.
- Use RFID protected wallet
RFID wallets are lined up with aluminum foil, because aluminum blocks radio signals. An RFID protected wallet blocks the signals emitted by your card and you can be sure they don’t reach the reader. You can also use the ultra slim power bank 20000mah inbuilt in this wallet. This power bank helps you charge your phone and at the same time protect your cards.
- Don’t place your card in an exposed pocket.
When you’re in a busy place like stadiums, restaurants, airport, and trains stations, don’t put your card in an easy to access pocket. Some criminals are looking for people’s cards. After they have access to them, they clone them.
If you have lost your card, call your card provider immediately to have your account blocked before it lands into the hands of black hat gurus.
- Never let the cashier handle your card
If you’re in a restaurant, ask the waiter or cashier to bring the payment terminal to you, but don’t give him/her your card. Never trust anyone with your card. Giving them your card increases the risk of skimming.
After payment, check the amount you’ve been charged and ask for and keep your receipt. When you have used your card on a vending machine, train, and other places that don’t issue receipts check your statements, to make sure the amount taken from your account is correct.
- Check your bank account statements regularly
Only after checking your account statement will you be able to detect suspicious transactions. Check your credit report as often as you can. Once you see a suspicious transaction, contact your card vendor for more help. Agencies like Callcredit, Equifax, and Experian can also help in checking your credit report.
- Request your vendor to issue you a non-contactless card.
If you have other payment options like mobile payment, request your card provider to give you a non-contactless card. A non-contactless card doesn’t have RFID technology hence no room for RFID skimmers.