Protect your contactless cards.
How to defend yourself from hi-tech scam on public transport.
Have you ever wondered how vulnerable your contactless payment card is when travelling on public transport?
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of new mobile POS devices to steal your money in an extremely ingenious way.
It is a worrying phenomenon that requires our attention and action.
Today I want to warn you and give you advice on how to protect yourself from these “hi-tech thieves” who take advantage of crowding and distraction to commit fraud.
It’s time to be mindful and take precautions to defend our funds and financial peace of mind as we move around on the subway or crowded buses.
If you have a
payment card in your wallet, always pay attention to those around you, especially when you are on public transport and particularly crowded subways.
While credit card technology systems evolve, thieves are also adapting, as evidenced by the latest brilliant hi-tech scam that exploits the new Mobile Pos devices.
It is understandable that you may have concerns about the security of contactless cards.
The first online reports of the phenomenon
The alarm was raised by a user who shared on social media the photo of a man on a train holding a portable POS, warning of the possible fraudulent use of the electronic POS (Point of Sale).
Taking advantage of the crush of a subway or a bus during rush hour, or a concert, etc. it is easy to get close to the bags and pockets of jeans or jackets that contain wallets with credit cards inside.
How “contactless theft” occurs
Depending on the distance between the reader and your card, payment can take place automatically so as you can well understand the thickness of the pocket or your wallet can allow or fail digital theft.
The Pos tight in the hands of the thief recognizes the passage of the card in front of the reader and the “game is done you took at least 25 euros.
At that point, as you can guess, stealing money, even if it is small amounts, is child’s play since for transactions of less than 25 euros made with contactless cards it is not necessary to enter the Pin or sign the receipt.
Even if you have set up the arrival of an SMS for withdrawals and payments, you still risk having at least € 25 drained from your account in a few moments without having too much time available to block the card promptly or identify the person who passed you with the POS.
Also consider that these people do not perform this operation alone, as for pickpocketing usually move in 2 / 3 people.
If you think about how long it takes you when you make payments with your contactless credit card, really a few seconds, it is easy to understand how many people can end up in the sights of thieves during a bus ride or a short train ride throughout the day, in the morning when people go to work, when they return in the evening, during concerts, crowded events, etc.
Contactless technology is also very convenient for thieves so it is always better to keep your eyes open.
Do you know what this individual has in his hands?!
It is a mobile POS that reads contactless credit cards and ATMs.
This character, one of many, wanders around crowded places leaning it on bags, jackets and pants of unsuspecting users, looking for a card that performs transactions only when the apparatus approaches.
How to defend yourself from the scam
The phenomenon of money theft through contactless cards and ATMs is quite recent since credit institutions began to provide it with all new cards issued.
Many credit institutions allow, through their app, to instantly activate and deactivate the contactless technology of your card, so a good solution could be to activate it only a few seconds before making purchases, only when you need it.
Another solution, more convenient that saves you from having to activate and deactivate the function every time, are the card wallets equipped with a internal metal case or an anti-RFID walletwho prevents reading of the payment card shielding the signal and forcing the ATM holder to physically take it out of his wallet.
To screen contactless credit cards to avoid theft there are two possibilities: Buy a card holder, a wallet or an anti-RFID backpack: on the market there are now many, for every price range and style.
The activation of a push notification service via your bank’s app or an SMS is another tool that can help you notice any theft of money from your cards but it is good to set up such messages even for small transactions Since contactless technology takes advantage of the fact that under € 25 no longer requires PIN or signature and if set even over € 25.
Here are some tips to protect yourself from “hi-tech thieves” hunting for your contactless cards:
1. Protect your card: Use an anti-RFID case or wallet that blocks RFID signals to prevent unauthorized scanning of your contactless cards. This can help avoid data theft.
2. Keep your card safe: Always keep your card in a safe place, such as a wallet or inside pocket. Avoid leaving it unattended or exposed when you’re not using it.
3. Use the spending limit: Many contactless cards have a spending limit without a PIN. Take this limit into account and, if possible, set it to a lower value to reduce the risk of fraud.
4. Check your bank statements: Monitor your online statements and transactions regularly for suspicious activity. Report any unauthorized transactions to your bank immediately.
5. Turn on transaction notification: Many banks offer SMS or app notification services that notify you immediately of every transaction made with your card. Turn on this feature to detect any fraudulent activity early.
6. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks: Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks , especially when logging into your bank accounts or making financial transactions online. Instead, use a cellular data connection or a secure Wi-Fi network.
7. Check for suspicious devices: Before using a POS or card reader, check its integrity carefully. Look for signs of tampering or additional devices that may have been installed for data theft.
8. Use secure payment solutions: Consider using secure payment solutions, such as mobile apps or online payment services, that offer an additional layer of data protection and encryption.
9. Keep your software up to date: Make sure you always have the latest security updates installed for your device and the applications you use. This reduces vulnerabilities that could be exploited by potential attacks.
10. Raise awareness yourself: Stay informed about the latest fraud techniques and recommended security measures. Read the security advisories provided by your bank or card issuer and follow the recommendations.
Remember that despite the potential risks, contactless cards and digital payment systems also offer many advantages in terms of convenience and speed.
By following these guidelines, you can greatly reduce the risk of fraud and protect your finances.
What about Smartphones and Smartwatches?
In addition to the mobile POS, the danger also comes with the latest generation smartphones because if used properly by criminals they can be lethal for our accounts.
In fact, just download an application available online for a few tens of dollars, which allows you to swipe the card near the phone to get the most important data:
- card number,
- account holder
Even if the thief does not get the CVV code, know that he can still use your ATM fraudulently online, since not all e-commerce portals ask for the verification code.
Precisely for this reason, banks and online stores have raised the level of security of their systems, introducing additional mechanisms to verify the identity of the buyer and the actual ownership of the account.
Protect your contactless cards and defend against POS theft when traveling on crowded public transport.
You need to be careful to take precautions to keep your money safe. Use an anti-RFID case, check your transactions well and activate notifications.
These things can really help you reduce your risk of fraud.
You need to stay vigilant and informed about new hi-tech theft techniques to protect your money.
Banks and online stores are doing their job by introducing security measures, but you also need to do your part.
Contactless technology is convenient, but you always have to pay attention to security.
Keep your eyes open and take the necessary steps to protect your financial peace of mind.
Street Fight Mentality