ASK BINDERTEK: I’ve been hearing a lot about RFID-Blocking Wallets as a means to stop would be thieves from stealing all your credit card info. Is this legit, or just some crazy fear-mongering?
It’s like out of a movie…you’re walking down the street on an average Tuesday, when an evil villain out of central casting heads your way. They’re cloaked in sunglasses, an unbranded black hat and some kind of small “skimming” device created through the use of high-tech witchcraft. They pass by you, not making contact, but in reality, their skimming device steals your credit card info without you even knowing it.
That is of course, unless you have an RFID-Blocking Wallet. Your superhero bulletproof protection from any would-be thieves.
While the scenario listed above does feel a tad dramatic, the proposed scenario is one the average credit card holding individual can easily imagine and would want to protect themselves from.
What does RFID stand for?
RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. It refers to small electronic devices that consist of a small chip and an antenna. Essentially it serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit or ATM Card, serving as a unique identifier for the object.
Am I at risk for getting my card skimmed?
If you do carry a credit card with an embedded RFID chip, the possibility of having your card “skimmed” by a passerby could happen, but that does of course, require you to use cards that have RFID chips, which as of this writing, the majority of American banks do not.
Still, for those of you who are concerned about RFID skimming, the use of RFID-blocking wallets has begun to gain traction. Essentially, these wallets encase your credit cards in a material that interferes with the radio broadcast signal your card makes, thus cutting off the possibility of having it being “read” by a potential skimmer.
So while at this current moment, most Americans probably don’t have to stress about having their information stolen by a random person with a scanner, if you find yourself doing a lot of travel to Europe and Thailand (where RFID skimming is supposedly more common), or if you’re the type of person who would rather be safe than sorry, it doesn’t hurt to add an RFID-blocking wallet to your repertoire, especially if you can find one that has the type of aesthetic you’re looking for.
Of course, if you do see someone with a “nefarious” disposition heading your way, you can always walk across the street just to be safe.