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Electronic Pickpocketing
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of WREG-TV (Memphis, TN CBS affiliate)

WREG-TV (Memphis, TN CBS affiliate), January 10, 2012
Posted: July 23rd, 2013

Call it high-tech hijacking. Thieves now have the capabilities to steal your credit card information without laying a hand on your wallet. Its new technology being used in credit and debit cards, and its already leaving nearly 140 million people at-risk for electronic pickpocketing. It all centers around radio frequency identification technology, or RFID. Its supposed to make paying for things faster and easier. You just wave the card, and youve paid. But now some worry its also making life easier for crooks trying to rip you off. In a crowd, Walt Augustinowicz blends right in. And thats the problem. If Im walking through a crowd, I get near peoples back pocket and their wallet, I just need to be this close to it and theres [their] credit card and expiration date on the screen, says Augustinowicz demonstrating how easily cards containing RFID can be hacked. Armed with a credit card reader he bought for less than $100 on-line and a netbook computer ... for about an hour he patrolled Beale Street, looking for RFID chips to read, and credit card information to steal. Even scarier, Augustinowicz says bad guys could work a crowd, stealing numbers and then e-mail them anywhere in the world. Its not just your credit and debit cards at-risk. While they are harder to hack, all US passports issued since 2006 contain RFID technology that can be read, and swiped. It gives me a lot of personal information like your date of birth, your photo if I wanted to make some sort of ID, said Augustinowicz demonstrating with his reader.

Note: For an excellent video showing how easy it is for someone to hijack your credit card information if the card has an RFID, click here.

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