So, we know that small chip in your credit or debit card can be skimmed through RFID skimming devices that can pick up the card information from over 10 cm away.
We know that this information can then either be used to create a “replica card” which can subsequently be used to “paywave” or”paypass” for the thief’s convenience (rather than yours obviously).
Of course, with credit cards, there is a whole world of shopping that can be done, not necessarily limited to the $100 paypass limit with still many sites not requiring a ccv number to buy. Just think of the fun someone could have with your account!
This CAN and DOES happen both at home and abroad, and so surely it would make sense to protect yourself easily and simply with something that blocks the signal when it is in your pocket or wallet.
There are other things you can and should consider as you get on the plane and start to enjoy your holiday:
- Do not take every card you own with you. Limit it to one, or two at the most, and preferably ones which are linked to accounts you use and access often (see the next point for why)
- Commit to viewing your statement online at some stage (or at a few points) during your time away. This will enable you to see at a glance whether you have been skimmed (or even continue to be so)
- As a general rule, credit cards are better protected from fraudulent transactions than debit cards, so it may be advisable to use these as a preference (and check this put with your bank before you leave including what to do if it happens).
- Insist on you seeing a payment take place if you hand over your credit card for payment ANYWHERE.
- Get protected…from what is essentially “hacking” of your information. Simple RFID protection sleeves, at what is surely a no-brainer price of $11 for three will give you peace of mind that you have done something positive to further reduce the likelihood of this happening to you on holiday.
Bottom line as with many decisions you make in life, it come down to a simple risk/reward choice.
Are you prepared to take the RISK and….
- Potentially see your holiday money GONE while you are away impacting on some of the things you had planned to do.
- Even if your account has some protection from fraudulent transactions, have the massive task of trying to sort it out while in a different country, have your card cancelled, and then having to prove the transactions were in fact fraudulent
- The time STOLEN from your relaxing, holiday time while you sort it all out
- And, of course, the potential loss of money (small amounts frequently over a number of days will burn a BIG hole in your account)
OR the reward…
None of the above! For this and subsequent trips away. So why wouldnt you?
One last thing to note of course is that this is not just a possibility when you go away but also a risk at home, so is it not worth protecting here too?
Now you make the choice. $11 to get the reward and have protection for 3 cards IMMEDIATELY or subject yourself to the risk.
(By the way if you want to protect your passport from identify theft perhaps this is worth considering too! The same technology used to skim your personal information)