Electronic Pickpocketing

Electronic pickpocketing is a type of cybercrime in which the attacker steals data from the victim without physically touching them. Commonly targeted items in an electronic pickpocketing attack include passports, credit cards, and any other document containing RFID technology. The criminals can extract the data wirelessly using a specialized RFID reader.

How to prevent digital pickpocketing

  • Utilise RFID-blocking wallets: RFID-blocking wallets are designed specifically to block any RFID signals thus reducing the chances of a digital pickpocketing.
  • Be wary of crowded places: The thieves often lurk in public places with people packed together, like events, markets, or public transport.
  • Keep your smartphone secure: Make use of unique and secure passwords, ensure you regularly update the operating system and software of your devices and disable RFID or NFC features until you wish to use them.
  • Adjust the contactless card settings: Banks that issue contactless cards also allow users the privilege to toggle the settings.

How to not fall prey to electronic pickpocketing

  • Always review your transactions and check for suspicious activity, reporting any you may find.
  • In the event of a successful digital pickpocketing attack, do not hesitate to report to financial institutions. Once you do contact them, you can have them revoke access to the card for all transactions.
  • Frequently create new passwords, ensuring the attackers can’t access other or older accounts by guessing one password.
  • You must not forget to file a police report, this way the police can be on the lookout for your things and even recover any without actually arresting the criminal.
  • Set up a fraud alert on your card so that the attacker will be unable to create a new account with your details.