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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana
Electronic Pickpocketing: Are your Credit Cards at Risk?
March 20, 2012

Stealing a physical wallet is a thing of the past- new technology now allows criminals to steal your credit card information by passing an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) reader near your wallet or purse.

RFID is a small chip that contains information like the credit card number and expiration date. These chips are used in one third of the total credit cards in the US; consumers can wave their card in front of a RFID reader and the credit card information is transmitted to the merchant.  This makes purchasing simple, but it also makes pick pocketing just as easy.

RFID readers are easily purchased, so criminals have access to your credit card numbers and expiration dates.

Using the information they obtain from your credit card, they are able to make duplicate cards to make other purchases.

BBB recommends the following tips to protect yourself:

 *   Put some sort a metal around your card such as aluminum foil

 *   Buy a protective sleeve or wallet from a place such as

 *   Ask your bank to send you a card that does not contain an RFID chip

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission for an Identity Theft Kit. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau at 509-455-4200 if you have any questions.