Consumer association magazine Which? have highlighted a security flaw in contactless card systems allowing them to “steal” thousands of pounds using stolen credit card details.
Researchers at Which? magazine bought cheap, widely available card scanners from a mainstream website to see if they could “steal” key details from a contactless card. They tested 10 different credit and debit cards, provided by volunteers, that were supposed to be coded to “mask” personal data but were able to read crucial data that was meant to be hidden.
“By touching volunteers’ cards to our card reader, we got enough details to allow us to go on an internet shopping spree,” a Which? spokesman said. “We doubted we’d be able to make purchases without the cardholder’s name or CVV code – but we were wrong,” Which? said. “We ordered two items – one a £3,000 TV – from a mainstream online shop using ‘stolen’ card details, combined with a false name and address.”
This has raised serious issues about card protection but a number of brands including our own Pen Shop brand Kingsley have already taken steps to try and combat this problem. Our Kingsley RFID blocker wallets, and cases by other brands Secrid and Tru Virtu, protect your money and cards from electromagnetic radiation, illegal RFID-scanning and other outside influences.
What does RFID Blocker technology do?
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that can be embedded into a range of items including bank cards and passports to allow the wireless transmission of information (such as contactless pay points).
Information can be extracted from RFID equipped items without your knowledge with hand-held devices (known as skimmers).
RFID blocker technology impairs the extraction of data from any RFID item enclosed within the product. Protection is provided by a special material enclosed within the leather and does not effect the normal use of RFID item.
With the growing popularity of contactless cards then crime against them will also continue to rise. To combat this we would advise people to invest in wallets with RFID blocker technology to make sure their cards are safe.