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  • RFID blocking cards – thoughts
  • Premier Icon Rik
    Free Member

    Do you need them? Do they work?

    Got a wallet I like so don’t want to replace it, but it looks like most new wallets come with RFID fabric built in.

    Seen the thin individual card wallets but they seem like a faff, but also seen the credit card sized cards which are supposed to protect your entire wallet in one go.

    Like: https://www.vaultskin.com/vaultcard.html

    What do we think? Useful or waste of money

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Do they do RFID blocking skullcaps yet?

    Premier Icon jambourgie
    Free Member

    Is this really a thing? The marketing guy who thought this up must be a genius 😆

    Premier Icon Rik
    Free Member

    😆

    Like I say I have no idea if it’s a load of balls either. But there must be a reason that pretty much every new wallet on the market has RFID protection.

    Or is it like 650b forced on the customer and told you must have this…….but the 650b marketing men seemed to have won 🙄

    Premier Icon nickdavies
    Full Member

    They work – we stock a range and I’ve tried them and yeah it stops the card terminals picking the card up.

    Do you need them..? I’d say only if you’re a back pocket walleter. Contactless needs to be pretty close to work and your likely to notice a guy waving a card terminal around your crotch or jacket. Back pocket in a busy area however, pretty easy to put a transaction through without you noticing. Although the banks do cover contactless fraud the chances of most noticing a sub £30 transaction are pretty slim unless your fastidious at checking your statements.

    I specifically don’t use an rfid wallet though as I like just tapping my wallet to the terminal without taking It out – never been done as far as I’m aware. Tend to use the iPhone more these days though as you get contactless convenience but Touch ID security.

    Premier Icon mattyfez
    Free Member

    I’m unconvinced.
    You have to get your card pretty close for payment to be taken, like 5mm or so.

    There is the conspiracy theory that people with wireless chip and pin devices are going around tapping people’s bottoms, but I’ve not really seen any proper examples of that being ‘a thing’.

    You’ll be asked to enter a pin if you use contactless too many times in a day, or try to make a contactless payment over a certain amount, I think it’s £20 with my bank, or no more than 5 smaller payments.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    It has been shown that it is very easy to read your RFID debit card while its in your wallet without you knowing and then clone the card.

    Premier Icon mattyfez
    Free Member

    I did have a fraudulent attempt a few months back and God knows what software the banks use, but i got a text straight away.

    Being naturally suspicious, I called the banks 24hr fraud line rather than reply to the text, they confirmed they sent the text and already blocked the transaction, no money ever left my account.

    Premier Icon Rik
    Free Member

    Yep – that link from Jamie is to the awkward individual wallets for each card. Can’t really be arsed with that faff. Hence the link to a ‘credit card’ card that protects all your other cards in if within 4cms.

    Premier Icon nickdavies
    Full Member

    There is the conspiracy theory that people with wireless chip and pin devices are going around tapping people’s bottoms, but I’ve not really seen any proper examples of that being ‘a thing’.

    It has happened, but reality is that to actually get a merchant account and machine to do this isn’t straightforward and you’d likely be shut down before the money even got to your account, so not a huge risk itself but picking up the card info for future use is more than easy enough, no idea if what is stored on the rfid chip can actually be used to put a transaction through though.

    I know I tried it when they first came out and I could get the terminal to read a card in my wallet in my jeans.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Full Member

    There is the conspiracy theory that people with wireless chip and pin devices are going around tapping people’s bottoms, but I’ve not really seen any proper examples of that being ‘a thing’.

    I’ve seen video demonstrations of stuff like that: people moving through busy trains, brushing through crowds etc and picking up dozens of cards as they go.

    That physical part isn’t that hard and it is easy enough to re-engineer the tech to make the reader part discrete enough to not be easily noticed.

    The “security” comes from the banks only accepting contactless payments from recognised vendors plus the audit trail it then leaves.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    It has been shown that it is very easy to read your RFID debit card while its in your wallet without you knowing and then clone the card.

    Care to back that up with actual, proven case histories from the wild, rather than proof of concept from ‘black-hat’ hackerthons?
    It’s also supposed to be a fact that someone can create a mould of a person’s fingerprint taken from a snapshot, and be able to hack the fingerprint lock on an iPhone – I give that about as much credence.
    As far as proofing a wallet, a couple of layers of cooking foil inside the wallet ought to do, but then you’ve got to take the card out of the wallet to use it, in which case you might as well stick it in the slot and press the little buttons…
    FWIW, I never carry my wallet in my back pocket, if only because it becomes really uncomfortable to sit on, as it’s a very rigid, hard plastic, made by the same people who make gun cases.

    Premier Icon Jamie
    Free Member

    Yep – that link from Jamie is to the awkward individual wallets for each card. Can’t really be arsed with that faff. Hence the link to a ‘credit card’ card that protects all your other cards in if within 4cms.

    I have a card wallet with 2 outer card pockets. One of those slip style sleeves in each side, like a sandwich, protects all cards inside.

    Seems to work when I hold my wallet near a contactless payment terminal, and only a couple of quid. Which is the only reason I use them. At £25 I’d take my chances.

    Premier Icon mattyfez
    Free Member

    Exactly, worst case scenario you’ll get screwed for about £25, but the software they use knows your spending patterns, so it’s unlikely to even go that far.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Full Member

    picking up the card info for future use is more than easy enough, no idea if what is stored on the rfid chip can actually be used to put a transaction through though.

    No. Not for banks cards anyway. It doesn’t just read numbers off the card, it’s s two way protocol where the card uses a private key to encrypt challenge tokens which can be decrypted by the matching public key.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMV if you are interested.

    Care to back that up with actual, proven case histories from the wild,

    Any idea how much banks quietly write off to card fraud every year because it’s not in their interests to publicise it too much?

    I certainly wouldn’t take a lack of reports from banks as an indication that it doesn’t happen.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Whilst I’m not not for conspiracy theories, that article is over a year old. “Worried about RFID? Haha don’t be silly, no-one has one of those.”

    Anecdotally (and ironically), a good defence against potential skimming threats may be to have multiple cards. A regular RFID scanner sees more than one contactless card, it goes “nope.”

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Full Member

    I’m guessing that article has an American focus:

    “First and foremost, does your credit card actually have an RFID transmitter? The vast majority does not”

    Contactless payment is a lot more common in the UK. All three of my bank cards have RFID, as does my pass for work.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Anyone killed the chip in their passports? Its always tempted me to do so when abroad and see what happens on my return when I have a valid passport with a dead chip

    Mrs TJ may be the more sensible on tho in that she has said “no”

    A good few years ago when the UK unilaterally declared we had to start showing our passports at borders again I was first off the ferry at dover on my motorcycle. On being asked to show my passport I told the chap it was buried in my luggage and that I would take a while he just waved me thru to avoid the queue

    As I had left the UK without ever showing my passport I could easily not have had one with me.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Anyone killed the chip in their passports?

    don’t need to I’m always directed towards the scanners, and so far I’ve had a 100% failure rate.

    Premier Icon CaptJon
    Free Member

    That is a very weakly argued clickbait piece. His problem is that RFID protection is an unnecessary industry, but there are plenty of other unnecessary things to spend money on.

    Argument 1: less than 1% of people have contactless credit cards so don’t worry about it. This website suggests there are over 100m contactless cards active in the UK.

    Argument 2: “It would be a lousy use of a criminal mastermind’s time [to RFID skim]. Today’s smart criminals break into websites and steal hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of credit cards at a time.” Today’s best robbers break into banks and jewellers, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t breaking into houses or nicking bikes as well.

    Argument 3: “Still worried? If you actually have an RFID-enabled credit card, it turns out aluminum foil does the same job, if not better, than an expensive RFID-blocking sleeve.” £5 isn’t expensive, and it could save you money.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    I think I’d get one if I lived in London and used the tube a lot as that puts you in a situation where you’re regularly in scanning distance of strangers. Still it might all be theoretical and losses are covered by your bank but for the price of a wallet/blocking card it’s useful peace of mind (and yes I’m aware there’s a whole raft of junk products that sell purely based on the illusion of peace of mind :p ).

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    I’ll get one next time I get a wallet. Few weeks back my (mrsmidlife’s work, all our car expenses for one of our cars go through it) contactless credit card paid for fizzy drinks and chocolate while I was getting my everyday card out. The wallet hadn’t gone closer than about 8cm to the reader and it took a good 15 minutes of faff to work out which card had paid for it, get it refunded(had to fetch the shop supervisor back from their break) and properly pay with my everyday(non-contactless) debit card.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    One thing that really annoys me about this is my bank no longer issues non contactless cards so I do not have the option not to have a contactless card. That annoys me. I have never used contactless and never will so any contactless transactions on my account will be fraudulent. I can’t even get the bank to deactivate contactless on my account but if I kill the chip I can no longer use the card at all.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    My bank (Lloyds) was happy to re-issue me with a non contactless when I asked, this was about 2 years ago, they might have changed policy. At the time I was trying to keep to a single contactless in my wallet to avoid cross paying while allowing me to not take the card out of the wallet.

    Premier Icon shermer75
    Free Member

    I don’t trust anything that doesn’t EIAP

    Premier Icon Rik
    Free Member

    but for the price of a wallet/blocking card it’s useful peace of mind (and yes I’m aware there’s a whole raft of junk products that sell purely based on the illusion of peace of mind :p ).

    Suppose that’s the issue, if you don’t want to change your wallet, don’t want to cover every card in tin foil 🙄

    Then if you want to buy a blocking card – which one do you buy as how do you know if you have bought a good one or bad one.

    The one I linked to at the top looks good but it’s £25 but you can also buy well reviewed ones on amazon (supplied by) for £12.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Full Member

    Personally I really like contactless payment and I’ll take the convenience over the pretty mild security risk any day.

    It’s definitely more secure than cheques or the old magstripe + signature method. And I’m sure that skimmers on ATMs and payment terminals are far more common than rogue RFID scanners with valid merchant accounts.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Full Member

    I don’t trust anything that doesn’t EIAP

    What’s that? AcronymFinder is giving me nothing.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I have never used contactless and never will

    Why not?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Full Member

    And what do you use?

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Cougar – so that if there are any contactless transactions on my account I will know they are fraudulent
    Graham – usually cash sometimes use the chip and pin

    Premier Icon allthegear
    Free Member

    If you don’t like the idea of non-authorised contactless payments, just get a new card issued from your bank without contactless and then add it to your iPhone (other phones available) and use the contactless on there instead?

    That’s what I do and it’s really easy. No contactless on my cards but all in my phone and Apple Watch. (which is *really* convenient)

    Rachel

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    allthegear – my bank no longer issue any contactless cards. I asked them. Neither of the banks I hold accounts with

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Rachel, do you really think the paranoid luddites who won’t use Contactless are going to be happy using a phone instead?

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    I am not sure how putting a card on my phone will help anyway

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