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Tempted to buy an I.D. protected wallet so no one can scan you and your wallet or purse for your credit card information via RFID reader? Don't waste your money because you probably don't need it.

 

EMV chips and RFID chips are two different kinds of technology.

 

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa.  It is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.  An EMV chip cannot be scanned and cannot be read via “electronic reader” pointed at your wallet.

 

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification.


Although it is true that some new credit cards have RFID in them, most new credit cards only have an EMV chip.

 

EMV chips are visible when you look at your new credit or debit card. An EMV chip or smart chip is the small sqare visable gold chip (about 1 cm square)  that allows you to insert the card (chip side in) into the slot at those new credit card readers at retailers. 

  

RFID, on-the-other-hand is NOT visible as it is sandwiched INSIDE the layers of plastic in your card.  If you peeled away half your credit card, you would see a small plastic square (about 1 cm square) with "RFID" written on it and it typiclly has some graphic lines visiable that circle the "RFID" logo.

  

To know if one of your credit cards has an RFID chip in it, look for a curvey 4-line logo "))))" anywhere on your card.

 

RFID chip-enabled credit cards and your new RFID chip-enabled passport CAN be read via RFID readers pointed at your wallet or passport.  An RFID protective sleeve for your passport is recommended.  If you are one of the few with an RFID chip in a credit card, then an RFID protective sleeve (or wallet) is recommended for that credit card.  But these are rare.  Thieves can still steal the card number and expiration date right off the card and generate a fake card (clone) with a magnetic stripe.  Producing fake EMV chips and EMV chip enabled cards is almost impossible.  Eventually, the magnetic stripe will be phased out and no longer appear on modern day credit cards - they will only have an EMV chip.  By eliminating the "raised numbers" on credit cards, it makes copying the number more difficult because you would have to manually write the number and expiration date down, or take a picture of your card with a cell phone, or swipe the card into a "capturing device" to get the info needed to clone your credit card.  Bottom line, if your credit card leaves your possession (e.g. paying your server at a restaurant) there is always a chance that someone can steal your credit card number and expiration date and make a clone credit card.  Check your online credit card statement often and set up "alerts" to get a text or email notification.

 

I bought an I.D. Stronghold type wallet on Amazon and as it turns out, I did not need it.  Wasted $29.95.  RFID passport sleeves are also available on Amazon (I bought one of those as well) and run about $5.

1 REPLY

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You forgot about all the other cards people carry in their wallets. 

 

My wallet has various cards for several different building, gate, vault, etc. access. 

 

I also have cards for health insurance, drivers license, and others I cannot publicly list. 

 

They have a mix of mag stripes, chips and RFID encoding on them. 

 

That is why a RFID proctected wallet is a very good idea.