Citizens are advised to be on the lookout for a scam that has been occurring more frequently over the past few years. Contactless bank cards are very commonplace now and they are being utilised by criminals for scams. Contactless bank cards use near-field communication (NFC) technology to transmit payment details between a card and a machine. Criminals have unfortunately learned how to adapt this technology so that some people are able to use software on their mobile phones to steal money from people nearby. They will take their phones into public areas – often shopping centres and public transport, and will be able to hack into people’s contactless cards simply by standing near them.
Photographs have also emerged of people using point-of-sale devices, similar to a card machine that you mind find at shops or restaurants. They again stand near people on in crowded areas to pick up their bank card details. Criminals may yet discover more ways that this can be done, but these two types of scam are obviously difficult to detect and guard against.
A good way to prevent this type of fraud is obviously to not have a contactless bank card. If you do, you should consider investing in a screened wallet – these wallets contain materials that will not allow an NFC device to read through it. These are widely available for between £20 and £40 pounds and can be bound on websites such as Amazon. If you see anyone you think who may be doing this, please do not hesitate to contact the Police. People have even submitted photographs of suspected fraudsters using mobile devices so do not be afraid to do that.