Thieves Cracking PayPass Codes - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Thieves Cracking PayPass Codes

Even though your credit or debit card is in your wallet, it may not be safe from thieves.

It looks like any other card... But an important symbol signifies it's a PayPass.

Which allows it simply touch a sensor and pay for your product instead of being swiped.

That technology is called RFID, or radio frequency identification detector, and for just under ten bucks, anyone can crack your code from a distance and have your card number in seconds.

Here is how it works..

Ray Wilson with Cat-Man-Du says, "This doesn't even have to be near, as soon as this thing is ready. Bam...It can be something very small like this, and all we have to do is get a credit card that has a RFID symbol on it, close to the reader and it will pick up all of the information from the credit card."

The technology is quite simple... It's found at most electronics stores.. And in some cases Wilson says it can cost under ten dollars.

But the cheap ones, don't have a far reaching range. Don't be looking for something big either - most are small and unnoticeable.

"These typically work best within a three foot radius, so I can't be on the other side of a restaurant from you but I can be behind you in line in a coffee shop." Wilson says.

Different generations of paypass cards make a difference on what crooks can get.

First generation cards will show all of the numbers... So if you have an old PayPass card you may want to upgrade, even if it hasn't expired.

Second generation cards don't show you all the numbers, but that doesn't mean the computer doesn't know what they are, in fact they can be transferred to a blank card and still used.

Officials say new technology always brings new ways to crack it.. But those bugs should be worked out soon.

Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with APD Crime Prevention says, "That technology is going to improve, six months from now they will come back and say we have taken care of the problem."

You have options now though... There are wallets sold that will block the detector and keep your card number safe.

Or you can call your provider and get them to send you a non-PayPass card.

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