Protecting credit cards from contactless theft

1. Apr 2, 2015

sophiecentaur

The contactless card payment system is very handy but there is talk of the possibility of skimming a card by brushing against a victim's wallet with a simple gizmo. In fact, I've seen it done on TV.

What are the thoughts about how effective the screening could be with a piece of foil placed in the wallet? I would have expected it to give a good 20 or 30 dB worth of protection.
Even two cards, side by side in the same wallet could possibly protect each other - I know my bus pass won't work when it's next to a credit card and I have to unfold my wallet before offering it up to the pad.
I started googling but then I though that some PF members might have the knowledge about this already and maybe, even have experimented.

2. Apr 2, 2015

Greg Bernhardt

This is an issue with the cards using chips right? The skimmer would still need the pin number though right?

3. Apr 2, 2015

6. Apr 4, 2015

sophiecentaur

AFAIK, the limit in UK is only 10GBP which would make grand scale theft difficult.
I may invest in a lead lined box for my cards.

7. Apr 4, 2015

Staff: Mentor

Agreed! So does anyone have any evidence/sources that this flaw actually exists?

8. Apr 4, 2015

Staff: Mentor

Flaw? It's by design!

Local police report credit card fraud has soared since PIN-less payment was introduced to Australia.

I can't see why cards can't have a corner with a built-in strain gauge or sensor for light- or temperature-differential, and require that this corner be held between fingers whileever a PIN-less transaction is actioned. Then miscreants couldn't debit your account while the card is stowed in your pocket, wallet, purse, etc.

9. Apr 4, 2015

sophiecentaur

I'm really more interested in how to deal with the problem than anything. I have actually found the contactless system to be quite useful so I would like not to have to do without the facility.
But present cards have none of those yet many people have one (even if they aren't aware of it).