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Electronic pickpockets: fact or fantasy?

John P. Mello Jr. | March 11, 2013
"E-dips" can putatively snatch credit card information from unwary consumers just by being in close proximity?

"There's been no reported incidences of smart card fraud related to electronic pickpocketing since this technology has been introduced into the U.S. market in 2005," he said. "We're over eight years into using this technology, over 75 million of these contactless payment cards have been issued and there have been no confirmed cases that anyone has experienced any type of payment fraud with these cards."

Vanderhoof claimed the e-dip scenario is being driven by a company trying to sell protective sleeves for cards. "It's trying to profit off of people's fears that they somehow are being put in danger by using these types of credit cards," he said. "Those claims have been totally unfounded."

One maker of protective sleeves for contactless payment cards is Identity Stronghold.

Walt Augustinowicz, Identity Stronghold's founder, has appeared in a number of TV news reports in recent years demonstrating how he can bump into a person and grab their credit card with a card reading device. Although a credit card number and expiration date can be snatched, that information isn't likely to be very useful since the security code needed to complete a transaction is missing.


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