What Is Electronic Pickpocketing?

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When your wallet is stolen, it's bad enough. It's like getting punched in the gut when you find out that the thief has been using your credit card to buy stuff in your name. It's even worse when you discover that your information was stolen through technology that was supposed to make things easier for you. Electronic pickpocketing is stealing credit card information from people in a public place using RFID wireless technologies. It is a form of identity theft. Electronic pickpockets use portable readers to scan people's wallets or purses and wirelessly transmit the information they contain to a nearby computer. They can also use special devices called "skimmers" to steal information from ATM machines and point-of-sale terminals, like those at gas stations or grocery stores, as well as some key cards for hotels and rental cars. Credit cards are great. They allow you to buy what you want when you want, making paying for things much more manageable. Have you ever thought about how easy it would be to take your credit card and use it elsewhere? At first glance, this might sound like a far-fetched idea. Yet hackers are getting smarter every day and are finding new ways to steal your information without touching your wallet. In recent years, hackers have found ways to use existing wireless hotspots and move through a crowd to steal credit card data using RFID wireless technologies. Credit cards are made with an embedded RFID strip that some wireless devices can read. This has led to things like contactless payment systems, but it has also exposed cardholders to financial fraud. Credit card companies have developed RFID wallets that use a solid material layer to shield the credit cards and prevent wireless technology signals from reaching inside someone else's wallet to combat this new type of identity theft.

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