Contactless payments seem to be the future of our financial transactions.
From contactless cards to payments using virtual wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
Unfortunately, as technology advances forward, it isn’t just the convenient parts that benefit from these effects. In other words, it seems like for every advancement in how we pay, there is a matching scam to go with it. For instance, even standard credit cards come with the fear that someone could steal your identity and use your money or damage credit scores if you don’t take the appropriate steps to protect yourself.
Don’t let this make you afraid to use contactless payment, though. There are ways that you can protect yourself from contactless payment scams much like you have done up to your conversion to contactless payments.
Look Into RFID-Blocking Wallets
One common scam with contactless payment cards is individuals using card readers to scan stranger’s cards when they pass them closely. For instance, the scammer might take advantage of a crowded place such as a subway car to scan the cards of unknowing individuals.
This is a fairly well known practice mostly because of how easy it is to buy a card reader. In fact, there are even apps that can read cards as well.
To protect your cards, you should consider investing in an RFID-blocking wallet. With these wallets, the signals that need to exchange between a card and card reader are blocked. That way, the information or funds from the card can’t be exchanged to the scammer.
Do Not Jailbreak Your iPhone
Apple works hard to create a secure system for their customers. However, some find these safeties to be a little too restrictive. In response, they “jailbreak” their phone. Jailbreaking is the practice of removing some of the security restrictions from an iPhone or iPad.
For many people, this means some added functionality and offers access to third-party apps. With an Android phone, the similar process is called “rooting”.
Removing safety and security features from your phone has the expected result, though. It makes you more open to security risks such as scammers trying to steal your information. To make your payment information as secure as possible, your best bet is to not jailbreak or root your phone in the first place.
Create Strong Passwords
As of right now, most contactless payments are limited to small transactions that don’t require a PIN.That doesn’t mean that passwords aren’t important, though. For digital wallets, for instance, a strong pass code on your phone is crucial. These should be extremely secure. That means avoiding easily guessed codes such as birthdays and anniversaries. It is also important to note that codes to open your phone are more secure than using a swiping pattern.
While a PIN isn’t often asked for with contactless cards, it isn’t useless. If you are on a shopping spree and make a series of purchases, you might be prompted to put your PIN in just to make sure that it is you using your card. Again, make this secure so stay away from easily guessed combinations.
Report Missing Cards
This might seem old school but it still stands: report your card if it goes missing. Whether it is a standard card or a contactless one, it is wise to call and shut off or freeze the card. This is the best way to prevent someone spending money on your cards.
The good news is that if you don’t notice your card is missing right away, you aren’t totally out of luck. As mentioned before, most contactless cards have a limit of how many times they can be used within a period of time before your PIN is necessary.
Likewise, if your phone goes missing, you should call to shut it off immediately. While you may have locks on your phone, it is still better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to risk a scammer finding their way into your phone to use your digital wallet.
Another good idea is to keep an eye on your bank statements and credit reports. If you notice any unusual or unaccounted for activity. Once again, in these cases, it’s best to report this immediately.