Contactless Card Security: RFID Chip Theft Risks

Ensure contactless card security to guard against digital pickpockets & scams. Stay vigilant & learn how to secure your cards from theft.
Contactless card security

Contactless card security has become increasingly important as credit and debit cards make transactions more convenient and faster. However, this convenience may come at a cost to your security. The use of contactless or “tap and pay” transactions, which rely on an RFID chip to transfer payment details to a terminal without a PIN number, has made these cards vulnerable to digital pickpockets. Criminals can use a reader to scan readable cards in a wallet and charge them without the owner’s knowledge. While transactions are limited to around 30 pounds or dollars, this still offers opportunities for criminals to steal small amounts from many people and get away with a substantial sum.

Scams Exploiting Contactless Card Security

One example of a contactless card scam occurred in a cafe in London. The owner would tell customers their first “tap” had not worked and ask them to use their PIN or sign a receipt. In reality, the first tap had worked, and the owner increased the bill by the amount charged on the first tap. The scam was caught by the bank providing the service.

Weaknesses in Payment Systems

Payment systems are vulnerable to abuse, and weaknesses can exist for years before they are detected. The human element is the weakest point in most forms of security, and mistakes are easy to make when using a bank card daily. Banks tend to blame customers when a card is compromised, but they should take responsibility for the security of their products. Customers should be vigilant and avoid anything that seems suspicious.

Protecting Your Contactless Card Security

To ensure your contactless card security, follow these tips:
1. Keep your card in a secure holder or wallet that blocks RFID signals.
2. Be aware of your surroundings when using your card, and make sure no one is trying to read your card information.
3. Regularly check your bank statements for any unauthorized transactions.
4. Report any lost or stolen cards to your bank immediately.

Phishing Scams and Contactless Card Security

In the next article, we will discuss how bank and credit card details can be stolen over the phone or via email. Even if readers are clued up, they may still get caught out, and there could be a scam with their name on it. It is essential to remain informed and aware of contactless card security, whether traveling physically or digitally.

Phishing scams are another way that criminals can exploit contactless card security. These scams involve sending emails or making phone calls posing as legitimate businesses or banks, attempting to trick users into revealing their card details. To protect yourself from phishing scams, never provide your card details to anyone over the phone or via email, and always verify the identity of the sender or caller before giving out any information.


Contactless card security is crucial in today’s digital age, where convenience and speed are prioritized. While contactless transactions have made our lives easier, they also present new opportunities for criminals to exploit. By staying informed and vigilant, you can protect your contactless card security and minimize the risk of falling victim to scams and fraud.