Contactless Card Pickpocket

Contactless card pickpocket

Can you pickpocket a contactless card?

Would it be possible to pickpocket a contactless card payment from your bags or back pocket or at crowded public places such as crowded train?

Sad to say this but, criminals are now carrying scanners in an attempt to steal money from your contactless payment cards without you even realising.

Bank customers who have contactless debit card or contactless credit cards are being told to be very careful in crowded public places as scammers are now carrying point of sale (POS) scanners to try and steal money from your contactless card.

If you keep your contactless card somewhere clearly visible like on your bag or back pocket you're more likely to be most at risk.

All a contactless card pickpocket thief criminal needs to do is enter an amount under $30/ €25/ £30 and hold the contactless card reader near the card to take the cash.

During the second week of February 2016, a picture on facebook social media of a person employing this tactic on a crowded train holding a contactless card reader close to bags and pockets has sparked fears of the contactless technology we use to pay for low value goods could be vulnerable to criminal fraud.

Scammer wandering round with a Contactless Card Reader

Should people have the right to wandering round with a contactless card reader or Point of Sale (POS) or to be precise EFTPOS device?

All a scammer has to do is key in a price less than $30/ €25/ £30 and then touch the contactless device reader on the pocket that contains your wallet.

At the time of writing this article no body has complained to the UK Cards Association of this type of incident happening in United Kingdom (UK), even though some picture thought to have come from Russia of the person is being circulating on a social networking.

Any cyber security personal can tell you that contactless fraud could be possible... just about anything is possible with the right research facilities or equipment.

The incident on the face value, gives the impression... how easy it is for your contactless card money to get stolen by using the Near Field Communication (NFC) function on his mobile phone. In reality, this is far from the truth.

During early days of contactless card payment, some people have actually shown how easy it can be to use the NFC function on a mobile to read their card data through their wallet to freak them out. Since then, the security of contactless cards has drastically improved.

Right now, it's easy to get hold of a contactless card reader - just a quick search on Google search engine for "buy contactless card reader" brings up many results, the first two from and

There are plenty of places for the card scammers. MasterCard, VISA and Cards Association have reported that spending on contactless cards has increased almost fourfold since the beginning of the year 2015. I guess one could say... the criminals have started getting into the act.

How you can protect your contactless card from pickpocket?

You can securely and firmly protect your contactless card from pickpocket by using "Scanner Guard Card" or wrapping your wallet or contactless cards in tin foil as the foil deflects the contactless reader and shields the card, even when they're in close range.

The scanner guard card comes as a two part pack and you place one either side of your contactless cards in your wallet or purse or they protect them whilst in place.

The guard cards are very slim and make no impact whatsoever on the thickness or bulk on the item that they being used in.

Also, you can buy any metal cardholders and lined wallets from Amazon Online retailers if you want.

Having said all that, the best piece of advice we can give you is to keep your purse or wallet in a separate bag and keep it out of sight at all times.

You could just not have a contactless card or just only use chip and pin, and keep track of your bank and credit card balance statement every day.

No! The idea of contactless cards has to be the most stupid or crackpot idea ever is 100% incorrect. You see, wherever there is a human being is there will be a crime.

Alternatively, if your bank issued you with a contactless card payment, if didn't want it, you can always visit the local branch of the bank and they will reissued with a normal card without any problem.

A person holding a card terminal
Electronic pickpocketing?
Contactless card theft - Users warned

A person holding a card terminal

Originally a post on a Russian Facebook page, the above photo picture image of a person holding a card terminal was picked up and shared by a lot of people claiming fraudsters could be scamming your contactless card using POS terminals to steal low value items money up to $30/ €25/ £30 at a time. But that's not the case, according to the UK Cards Association.

Misconception of Contactless Card Reader

Don't panic - no-one is scanning your contactless card through your pocket or back pocket or crowded public places.

The ambiguity or the idea that anybody who buys or have a contactless card reader for a POS or EFTPOS bank card terminal must be a UK or Foreign Merchants is 100% wrong.

You see, to be a genuine merchant you MUST have a Merchant Services Agreement (MSA) with a Visa or/and MasterCard acquirer.

To become a genuine merchant you must prepare to undergo strict Know Your Customer (KYC) test and other financial checks.

If the contactless card is "scanned" and the amount debited it has to go into a settlement process involving the merchant, the acquirer and the bank issuing the contactless card. Only then, if all is valid will the money find its way to the merchants account.

The notion that when you scammed a contactless card the money goes into the scammer account is TOTALLY 100% WRONG!

Buying a contactless card reader terminal on the World Wide Web (WWW) or internet online or offline will not give you access to a process to take and bank any card transactions.

If you have a contactless card issued by a bank, you are responsible for correct use (not sharing or disclosing PIN e.g., reporting lost or stolen or notifying of any improper transactions).

It is in your terms of use agreement. Contactless card, Chip and PIN, ATM withdrawals or use of the card for internet purchase it is good practice for the card holder to keep an eye on transactions and card balance.

Mobile banking apps, setting up text alerts for every transaction or even just using an ATM it's so easy to do.

Always check your bank statement regularly NOT at the month end, as we're seeing increasingly clever cyber criminals and for your own safety it takes a few minutes out of my day to check your last few transactions or your card balance.

If you don't want to be responsible for using a card to access your account, then we suggest cheques (Yes! Very few places accept payment by cheque and any lost sales don't seem to bother them) or draw money over a bank counter and use cash.

So if you are inadvertently "bump brush" against by a foreign merchant with a contactless card reader machine, he or she can be tracked down within the financial payment industry IF you report a suspect transaction "within a reasonable time".

Perhaps, you may have been a victim of internet fraud from your MasterCard/Visa/Amex card so in the end the card technology plays no bearing in the dangers we all face from clever criminal crooks!

Contactless card payment is NOT a crackpot idea. It's the way of the world in the 21st Century, so live with it!

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