Scam of the day – September 30, 2012 – Smart card scams

More and more credit card companies are issuing what are referred to as “smart cards” which are credit cards with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology embedded in microchips in the card.  The card can be used for purchases by merely holding the card within a few inches of a remote card reader used by retailers.  However, not only can the card be read by the retailer, but unknown to you, a scammer with a remote card reader in his or her pocket can come close to your pocket where you may be carrying your smart card and read the information on the card without your ever being aware of the data theft.  Many smart card issuers now encrypt your data so that the scammer stealing the information would also need to be able to decode the information.  However, it is still a good practice if you have a smart card to consider using one of the new thin aluminum wallets that will block a scammer from being able to remotely read your card.

TIPS

If you do have a smart card, make sure that you keep it in an aluminum wallet when you are not using it and always keep the card in sight when you use it for a purchase.  Also, make sure that you check your credit card statement carefully every month to make sure that there are no unauthorized charges appearing on your bill.  If you do find unauthorized charges, contact your credit card issuer and dispute the charges immediately.