Sunday, April 24, 2016

How does RFID work?

I wanted to write about R.F.I.D. chips since financial institution are moving towards this type of technology. The reasons why are switching to this service is because of the ease in which transactions are made. The RFID which is an acronym for Radio Frequency Identification it is a small chip with an antenna inside. This chip holds the same information as a traditional barcode the chip is embedded in the card. The good news is that it works better than a barcode reader because you just have to be in the vicinity of a reader or scanner so the information can be read off the card you don’t even have to remove the card from your wallet or purse. At the point of sale I am sure the information on the RFID chip may be secured but there are portable scanners thieves can use to get your information without your knowledge.

What is very troublesome to me is the perpetrator does not have to be very close to you in order to scan your card. The credit card/debit card thief can use a battery powered card reader concealed in a purse, a backpack or briefcase. Then the perpetrator will walk by you or bump into to get close to your wallet or purse to read the chip on your credit card. Once they have stolen the information off your RFID chip they will then take the scanned information to a computer with a magstripe writing device attached. The information taken from you placed on a blank card with a blank magstripe on the card. Once this is complete the fraudulent card is ready to be used. This type of Identity theft is referred to as electronic pickpocketing, RFID skimming or digital pick pocketing this type of theft will happen without your knowledge until it’s too late.

How do your protect yourself from this type of theft? You can use aluminum foil to wrap your credit cards or debit cards in which would block the scanners from getting your information but this is not something I would recommend. You can purchase RFID sleeves for each credit card to block the signal or purchase an RFID wallet to block the signal. The good news they sell RFID wallets or purses in all different kind of styles and not very expansive they normally start at about ten dollars for men and about fifteen dollars for women.

I hope this post was helpful please leave a comment below.

Mark Carvajal 


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