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Three tips to protect your contactless card against fraudsters

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

It was in 2010 that the first bank cards with RFID / NFC chips were launched. Despite a timid entry into France, they were nevertheless deemed useful for many French people.

With this new means of payment, you do not need to type in your confidential code or take out your wallet.

To settle a payment, simply place your credit card or smartphone near the terminal.

For security reasons, this handy method only allows you to make transactions up to a maximum of 30.

Indeed, even if the threat around the exploitation of your cards by others is relatively low, it is important to take the necessary measures to preserve your data, and not to spend without counting.

To best protect you from these risks, we offer three safety tips.

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Hacking contactless bank cards

Unfortunately, contactless bank cards do not escape the dishonesty of criminals.

Recently, a study has shown the existence of a quite simplistic card fraud, but allowing to circumvent the fixed limit 30 and to authorize transactions of more than 100. To rob you, the thief has only to approach your bag or pocket with a payment terminal.

This attack is similar to the devices that criminals put in place at ATMs, in order to read your card details during your cash withdrawal.

Not to mention scam, in case you lose your credit card, or have it stolen, someone could potentially withdraw a lot of money from your account, without needing your card's PIN code.

For example, researchers at Positive Technologies were able to recover money from 5 bank cards without being detected, which proves that the threat is real.

Conversely, a spokesman for the financial company Visa said that there is little risk of fraud and that several security measures were taken to avoid such a situation.

Protect your contactless cards

Here are some basic steps to consider to keep yourself away from threats of a scam.

Get closer to your bank

First, report your bank when your card is lost or stolen, so no one will be able to use it and make purchases.

Then, check with your bank or on your banking application, if you can be notified each time your card is used.

Stay on guard

Also be on the lookout for any strange-looking payment terminal that appears to have been changed.

If in doubt, if possible, do not use contactless but rather the method of payment by chip and PIN code.

Buy an RFID tui

If you are concerned that a thief will be walking around with their own payment terminal to try to scan your nearby cards, then the best bet would be to invest in an RFID protective wallet or case. These, usually aluminum or leather, block the signal between the terminal and your card, so that it cannot be read from a distance.

If you prefer to keep your current wallet, then do not hesitate to store two NFC cards together in the same compartment.

Thanks to this solution, their data cannot be distinguished from each other and cause an error in connection to the terminal.

That's about all you can do, now it's up to the banks to improve their fraud detection systems, and merchants to make sure their payment terminals are free from defects.