I just got off the phone with my credit card company. Apparently, earlier this week someone tried to use my credit card to purchase over $500 worth of beer. Thankfully my credit card company flagged it and didn't let the purchase go through. They immediately put a block on my card and called me, but I had missed the call. It wasn't until I tried to pay for our Friday night pizza and the transaction wouldn't go through that I realized something was amiss.
When I called the credit card company I thought maybe my last bill payment hadn't gone through. It was then I was told about the attempted beer purchase.
"But the credit card is right here in front of me," I told the nice woman on the phone. "How can they be using it to try to purchase stuff?"
I think of myself as quite savvy. I know about credit card skimming, I always use my hand to cover the key pad when I'm entering in my PIN number. In fact I knew of each of these five ways credit card numbers could be stolen.
But did you know that credit card thieves can now steal your credit card information without you ever even taking your credit card out of your wallet or purse?
Take a minute to watch this shocking video that shows how it's done. Don't have time to watch? The short story is that apparently the new chip cards allow thieves to wirelessly steal your credit card info by using equipment anyone can buy off the internet. Even scarier? They can do it with your passport too.
So what's a person to do? Well, the very nice woman on the phone with me at my credit card company told me (and as stated in the video above) you can buy special cases that will protect your cards from wireless skimming and I should check with my financial institution to see if they have them. In the meantime you can also wrap your credit card in aluminum foil which will block the radio signal.
Not very sexy but apparently, effective.
I'm off to purchase some tin foil now. And yes, I'll be paying with cash.