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How to protect your Contactless Credit/Debit Card(s)

Many of us who own credit cards would be aware of a word - Skimming

Skimming was a scam that was common many years ago where rogues were able to clone our credit\debit cards by tricking us to put our credit cards in compromised ATM machines or simply picking up a stolen or misplaced credit card and making a copy….

As we may know… The black magnetic strip on credit cards contain our personal information which can be cloned if it falls into the wrong hands… Chip and Pin was introduced to fight this (and it did to a large extent)…

The Clinic is aware of another scam that is gathering some momentum… contactless debit/credit cards contain an RFID chip that contains our personal card information… As you know we are able to place these cards against a terminal to complete transactions that are not more than £30…

The Clinic is aware that there are rogues who are able to simply walk pass you with machines that are able to pick up the radio wave signal from these cards and simply withdraw money from the card… It happens mostly in crowded areas like Stadia, Markets, Shopping Malls, Airports, Train Stations… Any place where bumping to each other is not uncommon.

The clinic must highlight that incidents of this type of scams are very rare indeed… But we suspect they are happening and people are simply not reporting it because the amounts being taken out of the account per transaction is no more than £30…

The Clinic is also aware that many families are traveling on holidays very soon and wants us all to be prudent and safe… shared the following useful tips the clinic identifies with...

  1. Do not keep a contactless – or any other type of card – in an easy to access pocket or bag. Consider taking just one card on a night out to limit losses.

  2. Never hand over a card to a cashier or waiting staff – ask them to bring the card reader to you. This reduces the risk of a card being skimmed and cloned.

  3. Always check the amount you have been charged and ask for – and keep – the receipt. Checkout staff do not automatically issue one for contactless transactions.

  4. Be aware that when using contactless at a vending machine or on a bus or train no receipt is issued. Check your statement to ensure the correct payment was taken.

  5. Guard against a card’s details being skimmed while still in your possession by lining a wallet or cardholder with tinfoil, blocking radio-frequency identification signals to and from your card. Also consider purchasing a custom-made anti-fraud wallet, purse or similar gadget. Security expert Andrew Goodwill, of The Goodwill Group, always uses a protective wallet. He says: ‘It is possible for crooks to download software on their phones that can read your card. It cannot read the security code but many online stores do not require it, allowing crooks to make large purchases with the details they have collected.’

  6. Act fast if a card is lost or stolen so the provider can cancel it. Keep in a safe place emergency phone numbers for each of your contactless card providers. Report the incident to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at

  7. Check bank and card statements regularly for suspicious transactions.

  8. Review your credit report periodically to help spot any unusual activity. If you do fall victim to fraud, the credit reference agencies such as Equifax, Experian and Callcredit can help repair any damage to your credit history.

  9. Consider asking for a non-contactless card if you – like the Bank of England’s chief cashier Victoria Cleland admitted recently – prefer to avoid the technology. Not all providers allow this alternative and even if they do, you will have to request it as contactless is the default option

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