RFID Skimming / Digital Pick-Pocketing

RFID Skimming is a type of digital credit card theft, which enables RFID (radio-frequency identification) smart bank cards to be copied. Thieves can use a RFID reader device from a distance, which reads the cards details from within 6 inches or 15 centimeters. Cards can be read from within a wallet and a purse, whilst you’re out shopping on the high street or on the tube just standing in close proximity to someone.

The earliest use of RFID skimming goes as far back as 2008, but it is uncertain how many criminals actually use this method. The RFID reader device costs a mere $300, which can be purchased online or even downloaded as an app.

It’s difficult to know when card details have been stolen using this method, however, as people tend to use their cards when they are out and about, as well as online, so it’s almost impossible to know just how your card details got copied.

RFID Blocking Products

Brown walletWhat is certain, however, is the wide variety of products now on the market that can help you prevent digital skimming, such as RFID blocking wallets, tech saavy purses, and RFID blocking sleeves.

Not all of the products on the market work, however, so it’s important to do your research when purchasing an RFID-blocking wallet or sleeve. Many of the cheaper products might advertise that their merchandise is RFID-blocking, but many don’t always fully shield your cards. Brands, such as Access Denied, a US-based company, offer a great selection of traditional wallets and passport holders that meet US Government security standards. The wallets are made of quality leather with a hidden metal mesh that protects your information.

There are also a selection of more modern and sleek aluminum wallets, which neatly organise your cards whilst simultaneously protecting your card details. A good brand, which can easily be found in the UK, is Ogon – a company based in Sweden. The metal cases act like a Faraday cage, blocking any magnetic waves, and protecting the card from demagnetisation. The company also makes sleek metal purses and clutches, as well.

And, for those of you who want a really cheap solution, duct tape and aluminum foil has been tested as a viable option, as well as an Altoid’s small metal tin.