RFID Blocking Wallet: Are They Useful?

Rfid Blocking Wallet Featured

An RFID blocking wallet protects your sensitive information from being breached without your knowledge  while in your pocket. As much as we’re aware that we should be careful not to share passwords and be cautious on how we handle our account information, such information can get into the wrong hands.

Thieves can steal information from your credit cards while standing right next to you, especially if the card has an embedded RFID chip. Such credit cards allow you to make fast payments by simply touching the card to a scanner instead of inserting it into a terminal, or quick swiping.

Once they copy the RFID data, thieves can create a clone of your card. Thanks to RFID blocking wallets, your card and sensitive data therein is protected.

How RFID Technology Works

Rfid Blocking Wallet Chip

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology uses an electromagnetic field to identify and track objects via tags that contain digital information. Unlike traditional barcodes used to identify items in stores or inventory management, RFID has the basic information on a product, plus access to sensitive information and tracking capability.

RFID technology makes our lives much easier as it helps speed up payments, the checkout processes when traveling, and contactless payments.

Unfortunately, criminals have become more creative and have discovered how to take advantage of RFID technology to steal credit card numbers and other forms of identification. They do this by remotely skimming your wallet using an RFID transmitter.

These RFID scanners pick up information from your credit card including CVV codes and expiration dates, and use this for theft.

The electromagnetic field makes it easier for them to steal with ease by simply walking close by without physical touch between the scanner and your wallet. Before you know it, they’ve already obtained your information and transferred the data to a new card and can access your accounts in seconds.

What an RFID Blocking Wallet Can Do

Rfid Blocking Wallet Work

An RFID blocking wallet blocks thieves from getting your credit card information. They contain a layer made from metal or carbon fiber, which blocks electromagnetic fields from getting to your RFID-chipped credit card. This blocks any communication between your card and the scanner.

This way, your credit cards remain safe. However, they must be inside the wallet to stay protected, as mere proximity to the wallet doesn’t guarantee protection.

Do You Need an RFID Blocking Wallet?

Yes and no.

If your credit cards don’t have RFID chips, then you don’t need an RFID blocking wallet. However, if your cards are RFID-chipped, there’s a potential risk of being maliciously scanned.

Ultimately, the decision to get one lies with you. If you feel the risk isn’t worth buying an RFID blocking wallet, then you probably don’t need one. Furthermore, second-generation RFID-chipped cards encrypt and protect the data they transmit. This is unlike first-generation cards whose supply is dwindling by the day.

But if you’re willing to go the extra mile for peace of mind, go ahead and buy one.

In any case, most RFID blocking wallets are affordable, and some even have a 365-day money-back guarantee to boot.

Credit card theft is a common crime. While you shouldn’t be overly concerned about RFID skimming, it’s okay to take precautions, as thieves are constantly reinventing themselves.

Have you been a victim of RFID-skimming? If so, do you use an RFID blocking wallet now? Share your experience with us in a comment below.

7 comments

  1. How do you know you have a second-generation RFID-chipped card?

    1. If instead of swiping your card through a scanner, you insert it in the slot and wait until the scanner tell you to remove the card. Also, quite often the cashier will tell you not to swipe it but to insert it into the scanner.

      The chip looks like a small square on one of the short sides of the card.

  2. “Do You Need an RFID Blocking Wallet?”
    Better be safe than sorry. What is $20-$30 in comparison to having your credit card account cleaned out?

    “second-generation RFID-chipped cards encrypt and protect the data they transmit”
    Only for now. Technology moves on, for credit cards as well as for the thieves. They may not be able to decrypt the data, YET but sooner or later someone will figure out a way.

    I have been using a metal AlumaWallet that used to be advertised on late-night TV. The only problem I have with it is that I cannot fit all the cards I need. So I just leave the least used documents at home.

  3. A piece of Aluminum foil in your wallet will do the same thing.

  4. Of course any tinfoil or aluminum will do that, but you’ll have to replace it every few days as it gets mangled by moving it around. I use one of those aluminum shell wallets from a dollar store and they do the same job. Pretty cheap protection for a pretty big problem if it ever happens to you!

  5. It happened to me! They got my bank card info! Fortunately this person was not “the greatest criminal genius of our time,” it appeared he and several buddies made at least six visits to an Esso station to fill their cars, bought treats at a Starbucks, and even did grocery shopping in a food store. Bank personnel told me they could have cleaned our account right out but did not. They likely weren’t smart enough to know that. The bank’s security software kicked in, froze our account, shut down their shenanigans and sent me an email. The bank reimbursed us our losses. Kudos to the Bank of Montreal in Canada. I now use foil lined sleeves to keep my RFID cards in.

  6. I am interested in the ability of scammers to scan a wallet with 5 or more cards close to each other?
    I recently tried to pay for a meal using tap or RFID functionality and there were only two cards in the particular section of my wallet – and I opened the wallet – folded out the section with the card I wanted to use, but it failed to scan – so in the end I had to remove it from the wallet and away from nearby cards – then it worked normally! Can these scammers differentiate different cards and make sense of multiple cards laying on top of each other?

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