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Protecting card chips

Old 06-10-12, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
I don't see how wrapping your wallet in aluminum foil is going to offer that much protection. If someone is going to zap your card, it's 10x more likely to happen at a store right in front of you, when you aren't watching (e.g. the cashier double-swipes).

You can also pretty much walk into an Amex location and get a replacement card right overnight. MC and Visa offer similar levels of service. You should also have traveler's checks (as I'm sure you know).

Plus if you're traveling for an extended period, a service like Identity Guard is even more important, since they will email you if people do things like run credit checks or set up a new credit card in your name.
The problem is not in the scenarios you suggest, but in airports, train stations, and other places of crowded activity where criminals walk about with scanners harvesting the information. It's to do more with identity theft than anything else.

We generally extract cash from an ATM to do our in-store transactions on tour. It's not as though we will be purchasing items worth large amounts of money.

The foil is supposed to prevent the radio signal from penetrating to the card, and evidently it is effective, simple though it is.

We don't use Amex. You don' know about MC and Visa, and our issuing bank is in Australia, and we will be moving about a lot, not staying in one fixed location for more than a few nights.

Travellers cheques are next to useless these days. Identity Guard is not available in Australia, and besides, a piece of foil is a darned sight cheaper than $9 a month for an insurance company to look after my financial security interests.

Travelling overseas is risky, but I think those risks can be mitigated. We'll see.
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Old 06-10-12, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dellphinus
There's a much easier solution- call the CC company and ask them for a chipless card. No charge, be there in a few days. I've never been to a place that I was in such a hurry that I didn't have time to physically swipe the card.
As tourer78 says, the chipless cards are outdated in Europe and are getting that way here in Australia. To issue any replacement card here here in Australia does cost money, and my banking institutions have a policy of issuing only one card per person per account.

The other major issue is that these chips are now being incorporated into new passports being issued here in Australia. My own passport still has a while to go on it, and is the old version, so the ID theft risk is not as high as on the cards.
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Old 06-10-12, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
As tourer78 says, the chipless cards are outdated in Europe and are getting that way here in Australia. To issue any replacement card here here in Australia does cost money, and my banking institutions have a policy of issuing only one card per person per account.

The other major issue is that these chips are now being incorporated into new passports being issued here in Australia. My own passport still has a while to go on it, and is the old version, so the ID theft risk is not as high as on the cards.
The US is starting to move towards the chipped cards and passports also. I just had to renew my passport this year and the new one has the imbeds in it. So far the only credit card I with a chip in my from my credit union. None of the major bank cards I have seen have them on them yet.

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Old 06-10-12, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
You should also have traveler's checks (as I'm sure you know).
Traveller's checks went out in the late 1980s in Canada. My ex-husband and I travelled across Canada in the late 1980s, and tried to use them, but they were rejected at every place we tried. We had to cash them in at a bank and travel with real money for the rest of the trip.

I didn't lay eyes on a traveller's check from then till about 2007 when an American came to the ladies wear shop I was working at and tried to pay for her purchases with one. We sent her to the nearest bank to cash it because we couldn't accept it.

They aren't used here in Australia either.
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Old 06-11-12, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
... ... We generally extract cash from an ATM to do our in-store transactions on tour. It's not as though we will be purchasing items worth large amounts of money. ... ...
Use a debit card in ATM machines. If you are concerned about a wireless chip in the card, try to get one that does not have a chip.

I never use a debit card except when I travel because debit cards have very poor ID theft protection for the consumer compared to credit cards. And then I only use that card in ATM machines, I do not use this card elsewhere since I do not want too many eyes to see that number. I use credit cards for other card transactions.

My credit union debit card is used to access money in a checking account and savings account. I have a second savings account at that credit union and the card can not access that money. So, when I travel, I have sufficient funds in my checking account for ATM transactions that I anticipate making during the next couple days, but any additional moneys are in my second savings account. With my netbook and a wi fi connection, I can move money from the second savings account to my checking account when I need additional money in that account for ATM transactions. Thus, if someone got my card number, they would not have access to most of my money in the second savings account, only the little bit of money in the checking account. I do not have a smart phone, but if I had one with a wi fi connection, I could probably make transfers with that like I do with my netbook.

I suggest you try to find a bank or other financial institution that will issue you an EMV card. See my comments above in post number 15 about such cards. And more on such cards here:
https://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/...for-travelers/
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Old 06-11-12, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
You should also have traveler's checks (as I'm sure you know).
Really? I figured they were pretty much a thing of the past. A few years ago I already found them to not be widely accepted and stopped using them. Do folks still successfully use them on tour?
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Old 06-11-12, 07:23 AM
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Checking account? That's another blast from the past along with travellers checks.


Things are a bit different in Canada and Australia than in the US when it comes to banking.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Checking account? That's another blast from the past along with travellers checks.
I wouldn't have thought so. Here the term is still used widely even though the use of actual paper checks has declined to near obscurity. A "checking account" is still widely used with a debit card. Do they use debit cards without a checking account where you are?
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Old 06-11-12, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
The US is starting to move towards the chipped cards and passports also. I just had to renew my passport this year and the new one has the imbeds in it. So far the only credit card I with a chip in my from my credit union. None of the major bank cards I have seen have them on them yet.

Aaron
I knew about the passports, but didn't think the chipped credit and debit cards were prevalent here yet.

FWIW, so far none of my cards or passport is of the chip type.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I wouldn't have thought so. Here the term is still used widely even though the use of actual paper checks has declined to near obscurity. A "checking account" is still widely used with a debit card. Do they use debit cards without a checking account where you are?
We have cards here, but they aren't "debit" cards, they are just bank cards - both debit and credit together in one card. These cards are associated with an account ... not specifically a savings or a chequing account, just a bank account.

I suppose we could get cheques if we felt we needed them, but the last time I used a cheque was ... ummm ... 2007, I think.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
We have cards here, but they aren't "debit" cards, they are just bank cards - both debit and credit together in one card. These cards are associated with an account ... not specifically a savings or a chequing account, just a bank account.

I suppose we could get cheques if we felt we needed them, but the last time I used a cheque was ... ummm ... 2007, I think.
OK thanks. I still sometimes carry paper checks on tour since I seem to often have trouble with not having the correct change for "honor box" payment at campsites. That is the only time I ever write a check these days though, and it was been a few tours ago that I last carried them.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
Unfortunately, unchipped cards are not an option for us with a round-the-world trip coming up. I believe our banks won't issue them anymore, and from my research, there is an indication that you generally have to have a chipped card in Europe and other places these days to do retail transactions.
As Tourist in MSN already stated the chips in the USA and Europe are different. In the USA we have RF chips where information is transmitted wireless. In Europe the chips have contacts and you have to insert the card into the reader. They look like this:



You see the exposed contacts on the card.

With the RF cards you see nothing unless the credit card company chooses to disclose it. The RF chip is hidden inside the card along with it's "antennas".



They are incompatible. So you will look quite stupid in Europe if you insist that you have a card with a chip in Europe.

Also, while paying with credit card is becoming more popular there, you should not rely on it. Small stores, food/farmer stalls, etc won't be able to take plastic cards. It's much more common in Europe to carry more cash than here in the USA.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
OK thanks. I still sometimes carry paper checks on tour since I seem to often have trouble with not having the correct change for "honor box" payment at campsites. That is the only time I ever write a check these days though, and it was been a few tours ago that I last carried them.
Now you've got me thinking ... we might have used a cheque for one of those "honour box" payments at a campsite in 2008. I can't remember! But we have used them for that purpose in the past too.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cbike
They are incompatible. So you will look quite stupid in Europe if you insist that you have a card with a chip in Europe.

Also, while paying with credit card is becoming more popular there, you should not rely on it. Small stores, food/farmer stalls, etc won't be able to take plastic cards. It's much more common in Europe to carry more cash than here in the USA.
We're "here in Australia" ... not "here in the USA".

Our cards are like the European ones.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
We're "here in Australia" ... not "here in the USA".

Our cards are like the European ones.
"We" does that include Rowan, the original poster who is concerned about his card and wants to use an aluminum shield to protect it? Because I was replying to him.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cbike
"We" does that include Rowan, the original poster who is concerned about his card and wants to use an aluminum shield to protect it? Because I was replying to him.
Rowan is my husband ... he's Australian, and yes, he's living here in Australia with me.


We are planning a trip round the world together.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
...not available in Australia...
I guess he is. Do you really have both chips on your cards in Australia, an RF and the contact one?
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Old 06-11-12, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Dellphinus
There's a much easier solution- call the CC company and ask them for a chipless card. No charge, be there in a few days. I've never been to a place that I was in such a hurry that I didn't have time to physically swipe the card.
This is what I did, now there's a literal ZERO chance of accidental charging or drive by reading.

Besides, it's free.
 
Old 06-11-12, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cbike
I guess he is. Do you really have both chips on your cards in Australia, an RF and the contact one?
We have what looks like the European card you posted. We have the option of either inserting the card into the reader, or we can do that quick swipe thing to pay for things under $100.
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Old 06-11-12, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
We have what looks like the European card you posted. We have the option of either inserting the card into the reader, or we can do that quick swipe thing to pay for things under $100.
Yes, it sounds like you have both chips. And if you are really concerned about the contactless payment then just request a card without it. It looks like Visa cards without PayWave exists in Australia as well.
https://www.visa-asia.com/ap/au/cardh..._paywave.shtml
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Old 06-11-12, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by brandini
This is what I did, now there's a literal ZERO chance of accidental charging or drive by reading.

Besides, it's free.
I repeat, they are NOT free to issue in Australia.
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Old 06-11-12, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
We have cards here, but they aren't "debit" cards, they are just bank cards - both debit and credit together in one card. These cards are associated with an account ... not specifically a savings or a chequing account, just a bank account.

I suppose we could get cheques if we felt we needed them, but the last time I used a cheque was ... ummm ... 2007, I think.
Our bank cards are credit/debit cards. However in the US you don't get the same protection on a credit/debit card that you do on a stand alone credit card. FWIW in a typical scenario in the US your debit/credit card is tied to a checking account with overdraft protection provided by a savings account or credit line. I routinely use the debit/credit card at grocery stores and such. If I am purchasing something online or a large ticket item I will use a credit card to get the protections that aren't available to the debit/credit card. Weird but that is the way the banking rules are set up in the US.

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Old 06-12-12, 08:34 AM
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Besides aluminum foil, those silvery plastic static-safe bags that electronic cards come in also provide good protection for RFID chips.

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out the distance limitation of the scanners, but since the RFID chips in CC & passports are passive (no battery) they must be somewhat close to be energized by a scanner. This means crowded places like train, air, bus terminals, where someone can get near your body/card, are the places to be concerned (if at all).
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Old 06-12-12, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Now you've got me thinking ... we might have used a cheque for one of those "honour box" payments at a campsite in 2008. I can't remember! But we have used them for that purpose in the past too.
Thanks for reminding me, I have to dig out my checks and pay bills today, I hope I have enough stamps for the envelopes.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DCwom
Besides aluminum foil, those silvery plastic static-safe bags that electronic cards come in also provide good protection for RFID chips.

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out the distance limitation of the scanners, but since the RFID chips in CC & passports are passive (no battery) they must be somewhat close to be energized by a scanner. This means crowded places like train, air, bus terminals, where someone can get near your body/card, are the places to be concerned (if at all).
That is one of many reasons why I put the cards in my ankle pocket when traveling.
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