You know that there are tons of credit card scams and unsavory companies out there that you need to watch out for.
But what many people don’t realize is that you don’t necessarily have to fall for a shady pitch or be tricked into giving out your credit card number to become a victim of credit card fraud.
Now, some scammers can use RFID technology to read your credit card data — and steal it for themselves.
An RFID blocking wallet can help to prevent this from happening to you.
In this post, we’ll fill you in on how RFID works, what to watch out for, and how the right products work to stop scammers in their tracks.
Then, we’ll tell you how you can get your credit back on track and make the situation right if you’ve been the victim of an RFID scam.
RFID: The Basics
First of all, let’s make sure you understand what an RFID blocking wallet can do.
RFID stands for “Radio Frequency Identification.”
RFID tags are on objects like credit cards, passports, used in barcodes, and found in many more products and ID cards. They contain sensitive data and use radio frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum to make it easy to quickly identify a product or store information.
Unfortunately, RFID skimming is becoming increasingly common.
This is likely because about 96% of retailers say they plan to use some sort of RFID technology n their products — so there are lots of opportunities for scammers.
This is a form of criminal activity and digital theft where electronic devices are used to read and then copy the data found on your credit cards and anything else with an RFID chip.
Once the data is downloaded, it’s easy for it to be transferred to a new, blank credit card — one that will work just as well as the original.
These RFID readers are effective even if the data on your credit card is encrypted.
They make it simple for people to steal your credit card information.
We know what you’re thinking: But, I keep my credit card in my wallet.
These credit card scanners are wireless and can even read cards that you keep in your pocket or wallet. Sometimes, these scammers can walk right by you in an airport or shopping mall, scan your credit card information from several feet away, and keep on walking.
You’d never know it even happened — and that’s exactly the idea.
So, how can you find reliable RFID protection?
Let’s talk about that now.
What Is an RFID Blocking Wallet?
Fortunately, RFID blocking is possible — and you don’t have to lock your credit card in a steel briefcase to make it happen.
Instead, all you have to do is invest in an RFID blocking wallet, case, or pouch. These products look exactly like other wallets, and there are tons of different styles available as the technology continues to grow in popularity.
But how exactly do they work?
These wallets are actually able to block RFID signals by blocking the radio waves and all electromagnetic fields that scammers can use to steal your data. In short, it akes your cards and other RFID products unreadable.
The good news is that many credit cards today don’t actually use RFID technology.
So, while you should still certainly exercise common sense when carrying around many products with RFID technology, you may not need to invest in a wallet.
How can you tell if your card has RFID technology?
If you can pay for something with your credit card just by holding it up or to or tapping onto a payment device, instead of swiping or inserting the chip, your card has RFID technology.
But even if you take all the precautions possible, you can still be a victim of credit card theft/fraud — whether or not RFID technology is present.
Now, let’s take a quick look at what you should do if your credit card has been compromised in some way.
What to Do About Credit Card Fraud
First of all, know that if you’ve been the victim of credit card fraud, you’re not alone.
In fact, about 46% of Americans have had their credit card information stolen within the past five years. Still, you don’t want your credit to be impacted by spending that you weren’t even responsible for, and you don’t want your bank account to be drained by a thief.
So, what can you do if your card has fallen into the wrong hands and made you the victim of identity theft and fraud?
Make sure that you cancel the guard the moment you recognize any suspicious activity in your account. (This is also why you should check your transaction history every day.)
When you call the credit card company to cancel the card, let them know you suspect it’s been stolen. Next, immediately change the usernames, PIN numbers, and passwords on your credit card online accounts.
You may also need to get in touch with a credit bureau and request a copy of your credit report. Consider reporting the issue to the police, and continually monitor your statements for the next few weeks.
Need More Help with Your Credit?
While investing in an RFID blocking wallet is a great step in protecting your credit cards and your credit score in general, it’s just one of many things you need to do to stay smart about your financial future.
Whether you have good credit and want to keep it that way, or if you want to boost your score so you can get approved for a loan, we’re here to help.
Keep checking back in with us for the latest advice on credit repair, credit bureaus, and how to apply for the card that’s right for you.