Identity theft is no longer tied to just email scams and phone calls to the elderly. Nowadays, anyone can be the target of identity theft just by walking down the street. As technology gets smarter so do criminals attempting to make a few dollars. New IDs and credit cards are more commonly coming standard with Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID). Despite how convenient this technology is for paying for goods, it leads to greatly increased risk of identity theft. Someone need only have a simple electronic device in their pocket and they can walk through a crowd and be well on their way to stealing a dozen identities.
The most accurate option is to speak with the bank associated with your card. The other option is to look at your credit card. The first clue is a RFID symbol. The symbol is a wave like shape and is typically on the front side of the credit card.
The risk of this convenient technology is that thieves no longer have to pick pocket you or physically see your credit card to rob you blind. Thieves have created high-powered antennas that allow them to scan your credit cards from as much as a couple feet away. This is very easy to accomplish especially in highly crowded areas like a bus, train, or store lines. Once they have your information, they use a process called “cloning” to create their own cards.
Common Fibers has redesigned your everyday wallet to protect against this sort of theft by utilizing the conductive properties of carbon fiber. The woven carbon fiber creates a “Faraday Cage” that prevents RFID scanners from reading the contents of your wallet, unless you open the wallet directly to a scanner, as you would in a grocery store.
It is important to note that there are multiple RFID frequencies that are used. CF wallets block against passive high frequencies (13.56mHz). These are the frequencies used on most credit cards and ID's in North America. The other common frequency used is 125kHz which is much lower. This is often used in Proximity access cards. These cards will not be blocked by our wallets. Consult with your bank or card issuer to determine your card's frequency as that are not all the same and may behave differently.
To see the wallet’s RFID blocking properties in action, check out this quick video.