The United Kingdom has launched a one-of-a-kind fraud-proof bank card that prevents fraudsters from cloning as well as using your card without your permission. The card has been launched in a UK high street – John Lewis stores.
The card dubbed SkimSafe resembles a typical bank card but features technology which stops fraudsters from stealing your personal information as well as using it anywhere. The card comes after £1 billion was lost via credit card and debit card fraud in 2017, a year when Britain recorded the highest case of card fraud (card not present transaction fraud) in Europe amounting to £409 million.
Since contactless cards were introduced, it is easier for fraudsters to target as well as steal people’s details using wireless scanners. Thieves can skim data from your contactless card – grab information using card readers which work wirelessly.
What’s more – fraudsters utilise wireless scanners to read sensitive personal information without your knowledge, going as far as “pulling” from cards which are inside your wallet, pocket or handbag in public places like restaurants or in public transport vehicles. These machines work via radio signals while close to you.
When your personal details are stolen, fraudsters can initiate transactions without your knowledge by using sites which don’t ask for CVV security codes (the three-digit number found at the back of a bank card).
According to SkimSafe, their new card can counteract the methods used by fraudsters making it impossible for your cards to be scanned and personal information stolen. The card fits into your wallet, card holder and purse and protects a maximum of 4 payment cards (either sides of the SkimSafe card) at a time. This translates to protection for a total of eight cards. SkimSafe blocks radio wave transmissions from your cards stopping the cards from being “picked” by thieves.
According to SkimSafe founders Bjorn Granberg and Carl Martinsson, the two are proud to introduce SkimSafe in Britain alongside John Lewis, their first retail partner. The founders confess to being “blown away” by statistics about card fraud – how card fraud is affecting Europe and most importantly, how it has affected the UK. According to John Lewis, there is a demand for SkimSafe to combat high levels of card fraud in the UK. As a brand, SkimSafe is dedicated to offering its clients exceptional customer service as part of the company’s duty to offer protection in/out of stores.
The device will set you back £24.99. Although the cost may appear high, it is the cheapest and best way to protect yourself from fraudsters targeting contactless cards. You can purchase a pack of 5 card defenders online (on Amazon) for £5.99. The card defenders do a similar job. The only difference is; you put your bank cards inside the card defenders.
Other options include using a variety of purses and wallets which have been specifically made to block contactless. You can also lace your wallet using tin foil to establish your own DIY protective barrier. You can test this out. Download a card reader application on your Smartphone and attempt to scan your wallet.
Quick tips: Protecting yourself from card fraud
Besides investing in a SkimSafe card among other card defenders, there’s more you can do to avoid other common forms of card fraud today. For instance, you must check for suspicious card activity often. Since technological advancements are continuous, you shouldn’t stop after you invest in SkimSafe or card defenders. The most foolproof way of ensuring you aren’t a victim of card fraud is checking your card activity regularly – as often as you check your bank account activity.
It’s also wise to enable real-time fraud alerts to notify you whenever suspicious activity is taking place on your card. Most credit card companies and financial institutions which issue cards can detect unusual card/account activity. You should subscribe to such notifications to deal with fraudsters as soon as possible.
Last, but not least, focus on secure payment methods only, i.e. mobile pay (with biometric authorization). Such methods rely on distinct biological characteristics such as facial recognition, thumbprint, etc. which make it hard for fraudsters to strike. With biometric authorisation components, fraudsters can’t be able to use personal information they steal from you. EMV chip cards have also made shopping safer.