Credit and debit cards targeted by new scanning device
Wed, 09 Feb 2011 04:14:56 GMT —
You can find this hi-tech device in almost everything from your driver's license to your debit and credit cards, and even your passport.
Radio Frequency Identification technology, or RFID is supposed to make the exchange of information easier and quicker.
It's been used for years to track cargo and inventory in large warehouses.
But now banks and the government are using the idea to make transactions easier.
Instead of swiping your credit card, you can simply scan it, while it remains in your wallet.
Stealing personal information is now much easier for crooks.
It only takes a quick second for someone to scan your wallet, purse, briefcase, or pocket to steal your credit card numbers.
That's because newer credit and debit cards are embedded with Radio Frequency Identification technology.
CBS asked the founder of Identity Stronghold to show people how easy it is for someone to steal credit card numbers without ever reaching into your pocket.
"You have a Suntrust card in there,and that's your account number and your expiration date, Founder of Identity Stronghold Walt Augustinowicz said.
"I don't like it, Anonymous said.
"That's just too vulnerable for everyone to take advantage of, Anonymous said.
Augustinowicz said many people were shocked on how fast he can get their personal information without them even knowing it.
"We've done it. We've picked up the phone, called 800 numbers, ordered stuff under a fake name, shipped it to a foreclosed home and the product comes in the mail, Augustinowicz said.
If your credit card has a Radio Frequency Identification logo on it then you could be at great risk of being pick pocketed without even knowing it.
"You might as well paint your credit card number across your t-shirt and walk around with it, Augustinowicz said.
I went to Jefferson Bank where most all their debit and credit cards have the RFID technology.
The bank confirms that those with the right technology can scan and steal your credit card numbers, but that it's harder these days to use stolen numbers online.
"The CVC number, the three digit number that's necessary to have in order to use the card on the internet. Also you must have the expiration date and your zip code, Jefferson Bank Marketing Director Jayne Dunkmann said. They cannot use it on the internet unless they have that information."
Dunkmann said it's good to be aware of this problem but not to be overly concerned.
Here are some steps you can take to be careful.
You can buy special wallets that block the radio frequency.
For an easy fix, you can wrap your credit card in tin foil.
You can also call your bank and request them to send you a new card without the technology.
Most banks have a zero liability policy for credit cards.
But the rules can be much different for debit cards, which in the wrong hands, could drain your checking account.
Tell us what you think about the RFID technology. Do you like it or dis-like it?