Is Your Contactless Card Being Scanned Without You Knowing?

A viral photo suggests that there are scammers using contactless card terminals to take payments from unsuspecting people.

Contactless card scam

It’s a worrying thought that someone could start taking money from your card simply by brushing past you, for example on the tube, but the reality is that whilst not impossible, it’s pretty unlikely.

Speaking to techradar, Giles Mason, Media Relations Manager for the UK Cards Association, eased the fears of many social media users who have been sharing the photo.

Firstly, the photo in question was taken in Russia, and as yet there have been no known cases of this happening in the UK.

The card also needs to be placed within a few centimeters of the scanner, and away from any metallic objects. Possibly the most reassuring fact is that to accept these types of payment, the scanners have to be registered and connected to a retail account, and so the transactions, and hopefully the fraudster, would be easily traceable. This type of card fraud would also be protected by the banks, so if you were to lose money in this way, the bank would have to repay you.

If that doesn’t put your mind at rest, what can you do to further guard yourself against this particular scam?

Well, you could make sure you leave your contactless cards at home. Or you could get yourself a special type of wallet (or inserts for your current wallet) which blocks the contactless scanners from reading your cards, such as these you can buy on Amazon.

One thought on “Is Your Contactless Card Being Scanned Without You Knowing?

  1. This month I had a contactless payment made against my account in a Spanish city I haven’t been to in over a decade, unless there’s a better explanation, I have to assume my contactless debit card has been scanned. I have never liked contactless payment being forced on us by banks. The only way banks will re-think this is when they have to refund fraudulent transactions to such an extent it will hit them hard.

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