A viral photo suggests that there are scammers using contactless card terminals to take payments from unsuspecting people.
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.
- 10% Of Card Payments Are Now Contactless (December 31, 2015)
- Contactless Cards Can Be Used Months After Cancellation (September 9, 2016)
- Oyster Card Users: Are You A Victim Of “Card Clash”? (November 11, 2014)
- “World’s First” Contactless Payment Jacket (September 2, 2015)
- Topshop & Barclaycard bPay Launch Contactless Payment Accessory Range (November 12, 2015)