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News & Press: Feature

Electronic Pick Pocketing

Friday, October 19, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gloucester Township Police Community Bulletin

Editor's Note:  This article was submitted by Jim Siano, Region 13 President 

You might not be aware of this but your credit card could be embedded with an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip. These credit cards are made for convenience as you just need to wave them past a RFID-enabled terminal to make a purchase. It is a similar technology that is used with ez pass for your vehicles.

A drawback to this system is a criminal can purchase an RFID reader of their own. A criminal could use a netbook computer to pick up information off RIFD cards that are carried in pockets and purses of random passers-by. Your credit card turns into a walking radio station and is constantly broadcasting a frequency that can be picked up by possible criminals.

Easy steps to "lower the frequency” on your RIFD card and keep your data more secure:

  1. Leave your RIFD credit card at home and use it for online purchases.
  2. Wrap your RIFD card in aluminum foil before putting it in your wallet.
  3. Consider buying a "credit shield” shield for more protection.
  4. Take notice if someone gets way too close to you on a busy street or crowded mall - they might be wielding a scanner.
  5. Monitor your credit card statements regularly for errors or odd changes.

For a video on electronic pick pocketing visit:

Click here for a PDF of the above information with a picture.

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