You may be vulnerable to a new type of pick pocket that takes advantage of recent advances in credit card technology. The technology is only a couple of years away from being on every new card, but crooks are already stealing your info with equipment available online.
The cards in question include American Express – Express Pass, Chase Blink, Discover Zip, Mastercard Pay Pass, and Visa Pay Wave. These cards need not be swiped. They have RFID technology, a chip that allows them to be read when waved in front of a device. Cards installed with RFID have a logo on the back like this:
Tests were conducted in an airport to demonstrate how credit card thieves, concealing a device in their tablet or ipad case, can pick your pocket without touching a thread of cloth. They only need to be within 4 inches of your wallet for a brief moment in time to have your credit card number and expiration date, which is all they need to rack up your bill in online purchases.
This issue was raised by Walt Augustinowicz, a security expert whose company, Identity Stronghold just happens to sell shielded wallets to protect you from the threat. However, he also offers a DIY solution: Wrap it in tinfoil.
A wallet from Augustinowicz may not be a bad choice down the road. The state of Washington already has advance drivers licenses with the RFID, which is why they include a protective sleeve with the card. RFID is also currently used in passports.