Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, is relatively safe for all credit cards. They process is technologically advanced and allows for smoother retail transactions. However, it can also pose a security challenge so you should exercise precautions.
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Because there is so much personal information contained in RFID technology, the credit card industry is constantly looking for ways to prevent credit card fraud. It seems the best characteristic of the RFID technology is also the downfall. For example, credit cards that have RFID chips installed are much easier to use; they can be processed at lightening speeds.
What can happen if my RFID credit card is compromised?
Unfortunately, if your information falls into the wrong hands, you may suffer dire consequences. In the past, the most important part of your credit card was your magnetic strip. Traditionally, this is where all of your account information is stored. The RFID credit card has the account holder’s information embedded in a small chip and that can be scanned without you knowing.
Once the information is retrieved, they can attempt to make duplicate credit cards or use the data to steal your identity and open new accounts. They can even make purchases because one of the major features of RFID credit cards is they require very little physical contact to work. A standard retail employee never has to place the card in their hands for it to work effectively.
If you suspect theft, you should notify your credit card issuer about unauthorized use or go online and review your account statement. Bring any strange or unauthorized credit card purchase to their attention and they will most likely open a fraud investigation. This means you may not be able to use your credit card until resolved.
How do I protect my RFID credit card from scanners?
You can protect your RFID credit cards in a few ways. For example, you can purchase a simple sleeve to place over your credit card to prevent block scanners from receiving any signals. You should be able to find these online easily enough and for a fair price. A basic sleeve can cost approximately $5 to $7, which is a small price to pay for security.
There are also wallets that are created to specifically block the scanners as well. Rather than using an individual sleeve to protect your credit card, you can simply place it inside the wallet. The entire wallet shields not only your credit cards, but any other RFID card you may have, like an enhanced driver license or employee ID badge.
Both sleeves and wallets will serve your purpose well. Just remember to be cautious wherever you are and remember each time you remove your credit or debit card with an RFID chip installed, you may put your personal information at risk.
How can I verify if my credit history has been compromised?
You can join a credit watchdog company that will constantly monitor your credit status and look for variances in your spending. More and more Americans are choosing to subscribe to credit monitoring agencies as a means to ward off thieves and scam artists. Depending on the type of service you select, you can have 24-hour monitoring, alerts and updates provided to you.
You can also choose to receive your credit report on an annual basis only. While this method may not be the most proactive approach, you will gain access to your credit history. Log onto AnnualCreditReport.com and download your copy.
Whichever method you opt for, you should get into the habit of checking your credit report frequently. If your credit is being used by someone else, you may see new accounts popping up on your credit report. Alert the credit bureaus to this immediately.
Unfortunately, for most, the first indication that something is wrong is when they go to make a major purchase and the traditional credit check is performed. If the sales representative returns with distinct displeasure informing you of your new credit status, you may be a bit confused. As a responsible consumer, you should be knowledgeable about your credit history and aware of all changes that occur.
What happens if am a victim of identity theft because of my credit cards?
If you are certain that your identity has been stolen, the first step is to identify the correct resources to help you with your case. The Identity Theft Resource Center is a great start. This site exists to provide you with all of the information you need to resolve your issue.
You will need to understand what your credit card rights are by law and what kind of assistance you are entitled to so your case is well organized and may have several forms to complete. The recovery period is much longer than the initial investigation period because most cases of identity theft are ongoing. The majority of these criminals only stop using your information when they are caught.
Complete a police report and make sure you cancel everything in your name like credit and debit cards and checking and savings accounts. Your financial lenders should have a process for you to complete with options for you to review. Generally, they will work with their customers who have suffered identity theft, especially if you have a good relationship.
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