TAMPA, Fla.--(Identity Stronghold announced today.)--Credit card companies have apparently targeted college students in an ongoing effort to issue 1 billion microchip-enabled cards by 2016 that leave users wholly exposed to the risk of payment fraud from electronic pickpocketing,
“The effort by credit card companies to specifically market these cards to unwitting college students is unconscionable”
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips, currently embedded in more than 200 million in-use credit, debit and other payment cards, let users make purchases by waving their card over a contactless reader. Alarmingly, they also allow high-tech thieves to steal credit card and other personal information by simply waving a contactless reader near a cardholder’s wallet or purse.
Walt Augustinowicz, founder and CEO of Identity Stronghold, recently demonstrated the serious security flaws in these cards for Phoenix’s KTVK 3 on the Arizona State University campus. ASU students were shocked to learn how easily their personal and financial information was electronically stolen because of a security flaw card issuers have neglected to address, as far as Augustinowicz can tell. Even the newest cards are vulnerable to fraud. In a demonstration for WKYC in Cleveland, Augustinowicz showed that despite credit card company claims that stolen information was useless to thieves, purchases could be made through major online retailers using electronically pickpocketed card information.
“The effort by credit card companies to specifically market these cards to unwitting college students is unconscionable,” said Augustinowicz. “Giving students a free T-shirt to sign up for an RFID-enabled credit card on their way to class may be an effective marketing tactic for credit card companies on college campuses, but when we’re talking about young men and women looking forward to making their way in the world, knowingly placing them at risk of identity theft and payment fraud should have everyone with a stake in the future of this country mortified.”
The growing threat of electronic pickpocketing made possible by the issuance of RFID-enabled credit cards has prompted numerous state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service, Financial Surveillance Unit, and anti-fraud task forces, to seek out Augustinowicz’s help in identifying and combating the risks.
Augustinowicz also has been invited to present an electronic pickpocketing brief to the U.S. Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which provides oversight for the potential fraud, waste and abuse of $840 billion appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Credit card executive reacts to electronic pickpocketing demonstration video
German TV channel ProSieben sent a news crew to meet with Augustinowicz and film his demonstrations on the streets.
“Walt’s demonstration of electronic pickpocketing was both shocking and eye-opening to us, as well as to the credit card executive we interviewed and shared the demonstration footage with,” said ProSieben producer Carolin Conrady. “Truth in reporting is always enlightening,” she added, “and we can assure our audience that electronic pickpocketing is a very real threat.”
To view the interview, visit: