Electronic Pickpockets & the Future of Identity Theft


Technology isn’t always good. Only recently we discovered that when taking photos with a smartphone, it is a good idea to turn off the phone’s location services. Otherwise, when you download your photos to a social networking site, a criminal could determine your location because of the geotag retained in the image. Now we have RFID chips to worry about.

RFID chips are showing up in credit cards and passports partly to make scanning easier but they could lead to unbridled identity theft because of the radio wave frequencies they transmit. RFID scanners, which can be purchased for $8 off the shelf, are capable of swiping all your credit card information simply by being held near your RFID credit card.

Credit card companies issuing these cards are not concerned about security, only the appearance of it.

Some smartphones are equipped for this type of scanning as well and there are free Internet games which offer apps that can actually steal your personal information off your device.

Currently, it isn’t that easy to steal information from credit cards because the thief would have to hold the scanner near your bag or pocket for 30 seconds, a fairly long time to go unnoticed. In the future, the thieves might not have to get anywhere near you.

There are things you can do now –

1. Carry two RFID cards to confuse the scanner.

2. Use a sleeve or even a piece of tin foil to shield your card.

3. Watch your statements.

4. Know the sites before you download.

Check out the video. Scanners can be hidden in a case as the thief stands near you.