Ask A Trooper: Keep eye out for ID theft

<!–Saxotech Paragraph Count: 9

This information comes to me from the Hamburg Senior Center, where I was recently invited to give a presentation on identity theft. In our discussions, I was asked if I had heard of credit card numbers being stolen with just the use of a wand.

I know Halloween will soon be here, but when I heard this, I couldn’t believe it was even possible. Seriously, a wand waves over your back pocket and, shazam, someone has stolen your credit card number without your wallet even leaving your pocket. After doing some research, I have found that it is possible to steal credit card information in this manner.

Credit card companies have recently come out with a “paypass” system to identity cards. These are “contactless cards.” The cards use a radio frequency identification, or RFID, chip. An RFID card can generally be identified by four curved lines on the front of the credit card. According to an industry newsletter, there are approximately 35 million RFID cards in service.

The manner in which credit card thieves steal this information is to connect a battery-powered card reader to a netbook-type device, which is concealed in another container such as a briefcase or backpack. The thief then carries the container close to a person’s purse or pocket, where contactless cards might be carried. The information is captured from the credit card, stored on the thief’s computer, and the thief uses the information to clone a credit card.

I know what you’re thinking: What can I do to protect myself? Financial institutions provide card covers that protect against the RFID signals being scanned. Consumers can also ask for cards that do not have an RFID device. A wallet lined with aluminum foil and duct tape may also help prevent against a thief scanning the signal from a card.

The most important thing people should do is always be aware of their surroundings. Trust your instincts if someone or something doesn’t seem right. You may be correct, and you should take appropriate action to protect yourself and your identity.

Fall has arrived, and it seems that white-tailed deer are on the move again. Drivers should be prepared for the possibility of deer crossing the roadway.

A few suggestions to help drivers and passengers in their vehicles survive a car-deer crash. Everybody in a vehicle should be wearing their seatbelts, and drivers need to stay alert especially at dawn and dusk. Drivers, do not swerve out of a lane to avoid a deer. Instead, brake firmly and in a straight line. It is usually safer to hit the deer then to run off the road or strike another vehicle.

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” — President John F. Kennedy.

Article source:

Technorati Tags: ,

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply