Professor Fraud

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The 12 Scams of Christmas: #7 - Hi-Tech Pickpocketing

Professor Fraud

Associate Professor at the Saint Xavier University Graham School of Management; Director, Center for the Study of Fraud and Corruption. CPA, Attorney, Certified Fraud Examiner.

Continuing with Professor Fraud's Twelve Scams of Christmas, here is ...

Scam #7: Hi-Tech Pickpocketing


Do you have a credit card that has a radio frequency identification chip - an RFID - imbedded in it? 

You know, the credit cards that you just have to wave in front of a credit card terminal and when the lights go on, your transaction goes through. 

Some fraud researchers have found that by using a well-concealed, souped-up scanner, they've been able to capture RFID credit card account numbers - and other identifying information - off of people in a crowd just by standing near a cardholder's wallet or purse. 

And while many banks encrypt the data on RFID credit cards, and there have been few police reports to date on this sort of high-tech pickpocketing, many fraud experts feel that potential for massive fraud exists.

So how do you foil these potential electronic fraudsters? 

With foil ! 

While there are many good commercial security sleeves for RFID cards available on the market, a number of experts suggest that by simply bundling your RFID credit cards together and wrapping them in a piece of crinkled aluminum foil, the RFID signal should become so weak and garbled that it is too difficult for a high-tech pickpocket to capture any information in a casual or crowd setting. 

Curses, foiled again!    


Remember, fraud never sleeps! 

So stay vigilant! 

And have a Happy - and Secure - Holiday Season!

(Videos of "Professor Fraud's 'Twelve Scams of Christmas,'" taped on the beautiful Saint Xavier University campus, home of the Center for the Study of Fraud and Corruption will be featured every weekday morning on FOX Chicago's "Good Day Chicago" from now until Christmas.)

Next time:  ATM Frauds



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