Scam of the day – October 12, 2013 – More problems with smart credit cards

More than a year ago I warned you about identity theft dangers with smart credit cards which are credit cards with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology embedded in microchips in the card.  The cards can be used for purchases by merely holding the card with a few inches of a remote card reader used by retailers.  Unfortunately, however, retailers aren’t the only people reading smart cards.  Identity thieves with a small, remote card reader in his or her pocket only needs to be within about ten inches of the wallet you are carrying in your pocket or purse to be able to read the information on the card without you ever being aware that your information is being read and stolen.  Recently the Pinellas County Florida Sheriff’s Detective Korey Diener spoke about how in recent years stealing of information from smart cards that can lead to identity theft has become a problem at malls, sporting events or other crowded places.  Some smart card issuers are being smart themselves and encrypting the data on your card so that the identity thief would need to be able to decode the information to make it useful.  However, there are simple precautions you can take to protect the information on your smart card from being stolen.

TIPS

Enterprising entrepreneurs have created new thin wallets made out of aluminum which will block the card readers used by identity thieves and prevent identity theft.  These are a good choice.  Some people merely wrap their credit cards in aluminum foil before the put them in their wallet or purse and this too will effectively block illegal card reading.  Also, if you have a smart card, you should make sure that the issuer of your card encrypts the data on the card to make it even more difficult for an identity thief to get useful information.