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Credit Cards And Identity Theft

Author : Connie H. Deutsch   Top Author

I just received a very disturbing email from a friend of mine. There was a link to a video showing a man carrying a small handheld device that can read a person's credit cards or bank debit cards that he's carrying in his wallet, purse, briefcase, or hand if they have the RFID (radio frequency identification) microchip symbol on it.

This RFID technology is called blink technology, or contactless technology because it allows a person to use their card without having to swipe the card or sign for the purchase. A card with this symbol on it can be read from any blink terminal within a four-inch radius.

The problem with this is that if someone gets their hands on a blink terminal, they could modify it to increase the range. Potentially, someone could set up the terminal at a crowded location and collect the credit card data of anyone who came within the terminal's read range.

The security issue is that if two or more terminals are close together, both terminals can read the card and the read range of each terminal can be increased to 30 feet even if it is operating within the proper range of 4 inches. The possibility is that someone could accidentally walk too close to a terminal and end up paying for someone else's merchandise.

The video in the email showed a man using this handheld device that he bought for less than a hundred dollars. How long do you think it will be before these devices are in the hands of criminals? Just think . . . these encrypted cards, or contactless credit cards as they are called, don't require a signature. That means that if your card comes within range of one of these inexpensive devices, you will be charged for someone else's purchases.

Chase is betting that their encryption is more secure than cards without the blink technology. I'm not that optimistic. As soon as I saw the video, I checked all my cards. I found the Chase Slate card with this RFID symbol and immediately called them and asked to speak to a supervisor.

What I learned from the supervisor was very disturbing. They are aware of the security risks and they will send me a new card without the RFID symbol to replace this card. She told me that my other cards have the old technology so I'm not at risk but if my future cards have that RFID symbol on it, it cannot be taken off and they won't be able to replace those cards. If that happens, they will lose me as a customer because I won't use cards that have this blink technology.

We have exhibited such apathy toward our Constitutional rights that have been taken away from us, that I'm not surprised that there isn't a hue and cry over this latest form of piracy of our privacy.

First we heard about the NSA collecting and storing all our private emails and recording all our private telephone calls. Now we're being issued contactless credit cards that have the potential to steal our identity as well as putting us at risk for serious security breaches.

And why are we being subjected to this appalling way of treating customers? For greed. That's why. They have discovered that blink speeds up transactions by as much as 20% because customers don't have to sign for their purchases and, consequently, they spend more per transaction.

Chase says, "The novelty of blink could lead consumers to apply for Chase credit cards so they can use the new technology. The end result is more money for the company supplying the cards."

I think we should be asking ourselves if we want to spend more money quickly just to foster more corporate greed of credit card companies. How is that going to help consumers? It's not. The consumer is going to lose big time.

I have never put a link into any of my articles or blogs but this time I think that the issue is important enough to make an exception. For those who want to check out this video, click on this link or type it into the subject box of your browser.

We have seen that most people don't speak up about violations of our Constitutional rights. Perhaps if people experience the loss of their privacy on a personal level, e.g., their debit cards being used by someone else and their identity stolen, there will be more public outrage until action is taken to put a stop to it.

This issue is too important. Let's not roll over and play dead while we still have time to halt the progress of this latest invasion of our privacy.

No wonder it's called blink technology. One blink and your money is gone.

Author's Resource Box

Connie H. Deutsch is an internationally known business consultant and personal advisor who has a keen understanding of human nature and is a natural problem-solver. She has counseled people who have OCD for more than 40 years,

Connie is the author of the books, “Round and Round Goes the Merry-Go-Round: Drugless Therapy for OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)” “Whispers of the Soul,” “A Slice of Life,” “Whispers of the Soul for the Rest of Your Life,” “From Where Im Sitting,” “Are You Listening?,” “View from the Sidelines,” “Reaching for the Brass Ring of Life,” “Purple Days and Starry Nights,” “Here and There,” “And Thats How it Goes,” and “The Counseling Effect.” Her website:
See more of her articles by clicking here ConnieHDeutsch Articles

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Tags:   credit, debit, terminal, merchant, charge, privacy, radio frequency, NSA, violation, blink, contactless, signature, wallet, purse, briefcase, hand, RFID, encryption, microchip, Chase, security risk, purchase

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Submitted : 2014-01-07    Word Count : 806    Times Viewed: 2000