POSTED: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 7:09pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 12:06pm
TYLER-Credit card companies are trying new ways to speed up the checkout process. But there is a new way thieves can steal you blind.
Thieves no longer have to physically 'pick your pocket' to steal your credit card and other personal information. A new chip in your credit card may be transmitting your personal and financial information right now from your pocket or purse.
Credit card companies are doing away with the magnetic strips on the back of cards and replacing them with a small chip called an R.F.I.D. chip, which stands for Radio Frequency Indentification.
So instead of handing your credit card to a clerk or swiping it through a card reader, you can wave your piece of plastic in front of a scanner to pay. No signature required, its just whoosh and go.
Sure it's convenient, but when you put that card back into your wallet or purse, it can still transmit your information.
So when your out doing some holiday shopping or anywhere in close proximity with others, or if your close enough to any reader including a homemade portable one, they're easily reading the same financial and personal information.
We logged on to E-bay and found hundreds of these readers on sale. Some were pricey and others were fairly cheap.
It's interesting how someone can just brush up against your wallet or purse and the next day go shopping on your dime.
Walt Augustinowicz of Florida couldn't believe it was that easy. So to keep his personal information personal, he founded Identity Stronghold.
"We made a simple thing called the secure sleeve that you can just put your credit card in that will block the radio transmission so the chip never turns on," Augustinowicz said.
For a few extra dollars, he said you can protect yourself and protect your credit card.
But it's not just travelers and shoppers who should worry, experts say these new R.F.I.D chips are now in government or military I.D's and in any passport issued after 2006.
To buy or get more information about the secure sleeve by Identity Stonghold go to www.idstronghold.com  or call 800-610-2770.