What is RFID scanning?

Modern payment cards, e.g., credit cards, ATM card, etc., have a built-in chip that transmits the card’s information wirelessly.  This is necessary because to enable contactless payments, which have become popular in recent years.  Criminals can take advantage of the technology by using a scanner wirelessly scan the victim’s payment in the same way a payment terminal would.  These scanners are legal and can buy in electronic stores or online.  Further most modern smartphones have a built-in NFC reader that can be used to unlawfully scan contactless payment cards.  All a would-be thief needs to do is get close to you, let’s say the at the checkout line, and he has your credit card information.  With that information, the thief can make a fraudulent purchase online.  The security industry calls this Card Not Present (CNP) fraud.

Does this type of crime really happen?

Scanning fraud is similar to skimming fraud wherein both cases the thief is obtaining your payment card information illegally.  Skimming fraud is where the thief attaches a psychical device to the card reader at an ATM or gas pump and reads your information off the magnetic strip on your payment card.  Since the end result is the same, the criminal uses the stolen information to make Card Not Present (CNP) fraudulent purchases it is impossible to tell which method was initially used to steal the information.  Publicly available estimates of the actual cost of CNP fraud vary considerably, with estimates of the global scale of e-commerce fraud losses ranging from $25 to $40 billion. The US is currently facing a significant increase in CNP fraud due to the RFID chip-enabled payments card rollout.  Suffice to say it’s real it’s big, it’s happening, and you could be the next target.

How do I protect myself?

Wherever someone can bump up against you or be very close without you noticing, that's an opportunity for someone to steal your stuff with RFID scanners.  It's called “RFID Skimming,” and it's a form of electronic pickpocketing or digital theft.  IDENTITY ARMOR’s RFID scan prevention cards work by both shielding your payment cards from scan attempts and by actively jamming those scans with white noise.  Hence RFID scan attempts are completely thwarted when your cards are in your wallet.  You can purchase IDENTITY ARMOR’s RFID scan prevention cards online at Amazon.com or we provide them as part of Identity Protection plans.  Click here to learn more.


Skimming fraud is real according to the Global Fraud Index CNP e-commerce fraud accounted for 3.85% of sales in 2017.  While that’s still a small percentage of sales, why take the risk of being a criminals next victim?  Disputing fraudulent charges is a frustrating hassle you can easily avoid by taking steps to protect yourself.  IDENTITY ARMOR stands ready to be your partner in identity protection.  Call us today at (888) 556-7609 or visit us on the web at http://identityarmor.com to start defending yourself against identity thieves.