Guest Author - Claudine Williams
Thieves have yet another method for stealing personal information, including credit card numbers. They are using a device that can easily scan your credit cards and passports when you least expect it. At least a million cards that are now in circulation have technology enabling the credit card owners to wave their cards near a reader and make purchases. The technology was designed to make it easier to make purchases or get through lines in the airport, but thieves can find it just as easy to steal this valuable information.
Thieves can steal your credit card information while you are in a store, at a gas station, or in a busy airport. They can then make online purchases using your credit card number. The device used to take the information is easily purchased online. The cards that enable the electronic pickpocketing have Radio Frequency Identification technology or RFID. Experts say that it is a possibility that thieves use the technology to their benefit, but the electronic pickpockers have to get extremely close to the person's wallet with the device to steal the information.
The debit card or credit card can be inside your purse or wallet when it is read. The potential problem isn't confined merely to these cards, though. American passports that have been issued to people from the year 2006 contain RFID technology as well. Thieves can use the information from your passport to steal your identity, making phony passports or other fake IDs.
The debit cards with the RFID technology have a symbol that looks like a series of lines, ranging from small to large. Although the Identity Theft Resource Center and other organizations have stated before that there have not been any known cases of theft using the readers, it could be that the cases have gone unreported. Some people believe that there will be likely be future cases of identity theft using the readers in the future. No one knows if the RFID chips will increase instances of identity theft.
For a cheap solution, you can use aluminum foil to wrap your credit cards and passports and protect them from the readers. If you would rather not use the aluminum foil trick, you can buy a neater sleeve and slide your credit card inside. The sleeves to protect you against RFID scanners look nicer when you are on the go.
Remember to be aware of your surroundings when you remove your credit card and passport from the sleeve to scan it. If you decided to get the sleeve, remember to use it at all times, because the readers can read information from cards if the thief can get close enough to you.
Identity Stronghold Secure Sleeve / Case for ID & Credit Card
Travel Smart By Conair RFID Blocking Passport Wallet, Pink