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RFID Wallets

I think that's what they are called. I've been reading comments from travelers about the possible remote theft of personal info from passports and credit cards while traveling. Is this true, from magnetic strip or chip and pin cards, do you need this protective type of wallet? Help!

Posted by
9363 posts

In short, as I said on an earlier thread, RFID wallets are a solution looking for a problem. You probably don't even have any cards with RFID chips. Absolutely unnecessary.

Posted by
2081 posts

nancy,

There was a lady on NPR that is really into "personal security" and she spends alot of time trying/doing things to keep prying eyes/ears from her.

She mentioned there are "faraday" bags out there too. Those bags keep/prevent any RF from passing through.

to me, i dont like beta testing new things and will let others do it for me. So, chances are if there are readers out there and if its being done, then im betting i wont be the first victim. If/when it does happen, im sure the media will get all over it and make us more paranoid so i will have some time to do something about it for my next trip.

happy trails.

Posted by
20833 posts

It is mostly marketing hype. You have a product that you need to sell and fear is a great motivator. Do you use a RFID wallet in the US? Since you spend more time in the US than Europe, it is more likely your card would be compromised in the US than Europe IF, IF RFID was problem. Save your money for an extra glass or two of wine in Europe.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you all for your help. I was suspecting that it was, as said, a solution looking for a problem. Have never felt that this was needed before, but wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something. Will be using the money belt as before. Thanks.
Namcy

Posted by
33 posts

I had to buy a money belt and the one that had the "special protection" for scanning those cards/passports (the lady there said the new passports have chips too, haven't verified this) was actually cheaper than the others. So I got one. Since your card/passport would be in a money belt anyway you may find that you end up with this protection if you buy a newer moneybelt, so you may get it without trying.

Posted by
4722 posts

While the YouTube video was interesting, it basically shows a man's wallet placed on a bar, and a phone placed right on top of the wallet to scan the Barclays card in the wallet. That's theatrical, but hardly a surprise! They then speculate that someone might be able to bump up against your wallet in the subway and read the card data.

They don't present any case in which that actually happened. They also report that Barclays was the only card they investigated that was vulnerable to this intrusion, which doesn't include the 3-digit security code. No other card they tested was vulnerable. They also found an online retailer (UK Amazon) that fails to demand the security code, and created an account with the stolen data.

I'll give you that the report seems to be factual. But I don't see that it's relevant to my life. I don't put my wallet on top of a bar and leave it there for other people to touch. And if I get jostled in the subway, I'm worried about a pickpocket or a pervert, not someone rubbing my ... er ... you know... with a cell phone or scanner.

Mary, I notice that this is your first post on this board. Any chance you have a personal interest in the company or video your post mentions?

Posted by
24386 posts

let's see - old thread, first ever post, unusual thread, absolutely glowing praise of a technical product or two, complete with hot links and youtube proof...... hmmmm

Would you like to tell us how that occurred, Mary? How did you wind up with this thread?

Posted by
4514 posts

Good response Tim.

Again, it is a solution looking for a problem - especially by enterprising companies hoping to sell you something.