Wireless Identity Theft: A New Era of Fraud?

How do you know if you are a victim of wireless identity theft? It is not easy to know because your credit card information could be stolen just by walking by someone in a store or a mall that has possession of an RFID scanner. In order to be a victim of wireless identity theft, an RFID tag is located in the credit card noted by a radio signal symbol on the back of your card. If you have this radio signal on the back of your credit card, you need to take some precautionary measures and be aware of the RFID tag within your card. The RFID tag includes a tiny microchip that works with an antenna sending out a radio signal with your credit card information. When someone is paying with his or her credit card at the store, they can simply scan the card over the credit card reader instead of having to swipe it through allowing for a faster transaction. The same idea applies to an RFID reader. While it makes it easier for customers for transactions during checkout, it makes stealing easier for committing fraud.

How does one protect them against wireless identity theft?
1.Leave the RFID credit cards at home and use the card for only online purchases and have another credit card without the RFID tag or simply use cash for outside purchases.
2.Wrapping the RFID cards in aluminum foil before putting them in your wallet or purchasing a protective sleeve can help block RFID scanners from reading the card. Credit card shields can also be purchased that also use an aluminum type material.
3.If a separate protective shield is not desired, one can consider a special wallet, such as DataSafe wallet. These special wallets are manufactured with materials that have been approved by the Government Services Administration to block RFID transactions.
4.Monitoring credit card statements on a regular basis for errors or unknown charges can help detect purchases you did not make. Credit card fraud and identity theft can occur even if one takes high precaution, however; monitoring statements regularly can help mitigate this risk.

Below is an article and a video that talks more about wireless fraud and RFID credit cards. The video demonstrates how easy it is for someone to steal your identity without directly looking at your credit card itself.



1 comment… add one

  • Tina McKee

    Wow – that’s quite enlightening. As a banker, shopper and technology buff, I’m a bit freaked out! I just purchased 2 of those wallets that block the RFID scanners “just in case”.

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