Electronic Pickpocketing

July 22, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Electronic Pickpocketing

Pickpocketing is a form of theft that involves stealing money or other valuables from a person without them noticing. It requires a great deal of dexterity and a knack for misdirection. Such an individual who works in this manner is known as a pickpocket. These types of hand tricks and diversion tactics are slowly becoming a thing of past. Nowadays, stealing has become more technologically advanced and is appropriately nicknamed Electronic Pickpocketing.

So what is Electronic Pickpocketing? Are you at risk? And how do you avoid it? Let’s look at some of the basics of the sophisticated theft.

Electronic Pickpocketing :

Electronic Pickpocketing is now the 21st century version of a crime. Simply, stealing personal information of an unsuspecting person by passing them in an airport, bus station or in a parking lot with a concealed credit card RFID reader. It is also called Wireless Identity Theft or Contactless Identity Theft. To many, the concept of “wirelessly” stealing credit card information belongs in a scene from a science fiction movie, but it is real and potentially very dangerous.

What is RFID Technology and how does it work?

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is a relatively new technique of gathering an individual's personal information using Radio Frequency Signals. Credit cards, debit cards or government issued identification cards carry a Radio Frequency Identification chip which responds to certain radio frequencies. When they come in contact with  radio waves, they respond with an altered signal. These responses can contain encoded personal information like names, addresses, contact numbers or account numbers of the card holder. Upon capturing this data one is then able to program other cards to respond in an identical fashion, which is called cloning. Many web sites are supplying necessary equipment and software to teach people how to do this.

Risk Factors :

A thief can hang out in a crowded bus or a railway station and acquire hundreds of credit card numbers in just a few hours. The same RFID technology that facilitates convenient purchases also enables a thief to steal credit card details and make purchases like a debit or credit card. But credit cards are not the only thing at risk. If you have a work badge equipped with RFID, personal information can be stolen within seconds.

However, it is not all doom and gloom, agencies issuing cards have other data-protection and anti-fraud measures in place to protect consumers. If consumers are victims of RFID credit card or identity theft, they will be protected by these agencies.

Avoiding Electronically Pickpocketed :

Many companies on the internet sell sleeves, wallets and other accessories for such RFID enabled cards that actively block RFID scanner waves. They are affordable, reliable and used by all security minded individuals and government agencies. Another suggested option is to wrap your cards with aluminium foil which will block the electromagnetic signals. But the best way to protect yourself is to be vigilant and making sure you are aware of your surroundings.

If you think you have been a victim of electronic pickpocketing or find some suspicious activity, alert your respective agency immediately. They have dedicated experts dealing with such fraudulent activities and prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law. They will be thankful to have been notified and acted quickly to keep their reputations intact.

For more tips on safety and security on any other concerns surrounding IT-related issues please feel free to contact our team at McDonalds-IT.

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Written by   Prashant Panchal

Category: Security


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