New technologies always bring new dangers. Thieves have discovered a new way to steal your valuable personal information called RFID skimming. We’ll explain what it is, how it works, and how you can avoid it with a very simple solution.
What is RFID?
RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification. This technology uses radio-frequency magnetic fields for keycard doors, inventory tracking, passports, and most importantly, credit cards, debit cards, and ATM cards.
RFID chips use radio waves to communicate data to RFID readers. Cards that have these RFID chips allow nearby RFID devices to pull data without the need for direct contact.
What is credit card skimming?
Digital pickpockets have found a way to steal this data from your credit or debit cards. They have RFID chip readers and can pick up your info without you even noticing. They won’t even need to see your wallet; they just need to be close to it. This method is called skimming. A thief simply “scans” your wallet with this device. This can happen in a matter of seconds.
Some thieves also attach skimmers that work like regular card readers to gas pumps and ATMs. When you swipe your card through such a skimmer, the device captures all the details stored in the card's magnetic stripe: the card number, expiration date, and your name. With this data, the thief can purchase things using your account.
What is an RFID blocking card? How can it protect your info and money?
Now that more and more credit cards, passports, and driver’s licenses come embedded with these chips, companies have begun creating protection for them, such as RFID-blocking cards. These cards are designed to hinder your cards’ signals from going beyond your wallet, to prevent the remote use of your data.
Yes, if you have contactless cards, then you have a chance of being robbed by digital thieves. RFID devices have a broad range of operation, from a few centimeters up to seven meters for high-frequency devices.
However, an RFID-blocking card in your wallet will protect you from losing money and personal data. This simple technology stops all RFID readers from communicating with your cards or passports. A one-time purchase can prevent multiple attempts at theft and frustrate today’s new breed of pickpocket.