Today I woke to the news my Facebook friend Jodie (who is currently in exotic Barbados) has had her Debit Card funds ‘cleaned out’ or stolen from her bank account. Her first comment is that “but my card is still safely in my wallet”.
How did this happen?
I remember all too well that a little over 2 years ago, I went to the ATM to withdraw funds to pay for my hotel – and my entire $10,500 had been cleaned out of my bank account in just a few days !!!! Stolen from my Travel Money Card account.
Just like Jodie, my Debit Card had never left my possession, so again, how did this happen?
I can tell you it happens really easily, and here are a few reasons why.
You are a very busy person
With our lives increasingly busy, we rush about completely unaware that these thieves could be nearby.
Thieves look like everyone else around you
We all know digital crime is on the rise. These days these criminals can be lurking right beside you, or not far away, and you are totally unaware! On planes, trains, near the bank, at the supermarket – nearly anywhere.
Did you know that your card details are stored on what is called ‘RFID’ chips? This chip can easily be breached, and from a distance of up to 20 meters, by the criminal using an ‘RFID’ scanner. The smaller ‘RFID’ scanners can be held in a hand, or placed in their pocket or handbag, and if they just stand next to you, and in a moment your information is stolen. Then larger ‘RFID’ scanners have a wider range and can be placed inside a suitcase, or even a vehicle. You would never know these robbers are right near you. they don’t have to bash you up and rob your purse, they do it without even laying a finger on you.
These thieves can easily scan, or ‘harvest’ your unsecured credit cards; debit cards; and passport details.
But it is not just your finances they are after, but also your identity details are being stolen, which is often a far worse problem.
How creepy to think someone may be out there pretending to be you. Imagine if that person performed a crime using your name. Sadly, it happens all the time.
Hotel and resort room entry is most often now in card form – a little like a credit card. This information can be stolen too. Just imagine walking past the thief on your way out in the lobby, and you return from your lovely day our sightseeing to find your room has been robbed. Your personal possessions have been rummaged through. And they can do some nasty things whilst your out to your personal items, just because ‘they can’. You’d have no idea if they’d scrubbed the toilet with your toothbrush, or been in your lingerie for example – how gross is that! A total violation of your privacy, not just theft of your possessions.
Or like Jodie and myself, they steal your money – and you never even know it until it is too late. I’ll never forget that sick feeling in my stomach, followed by tears as I spent hours at the local Colombian South American police station (not the country you want to end up having to be using the law enforcement services unless you have to either, I might add).
And because I was overseas, it took me 3 months to get my money back – it was a travelers nightmare! I lived off 3 months cash advances and had an awful bother trying to get a replacement card from my bank on the other side of the world. As a single Mum, this was a horrible time for me.
But a couple of weeks ago I discovered a new product – Travel Guard and they have the answer to keep the traveler safe, and can help to keep your personal identity and financial information safe, and here’s how.
Using E-FieldTM technology, Travel Guard is able to block signals that put card chip and personal identity details at risk. It’s great because Travel Guard does not require it’s own ‘power source’ to keep you safe either, so it isn’t something you have to worry about charging or keeping turned on; which we think is just ideal for the weary traveler. Travel Guard actually is able to draw power via the signals that are being broadcasted via those nasty skimming devices. So that very same device that might be posing as a threat to you is actually providing Travel Guard with a power source that in turn protects you – I like that.
Once you’ve placed Travel Guard in your wallet, purse, or passport folder, you can breathe a sigh of relief, and feel a whole lot safer, and you get on with having fun and your worries can be forgotten. It actually activates automatically if Travel Guard detects a threat, and it even protects multiple cards too.
All The Time
But it isn’t just on a vacation that you need to use Travel Guard, you need one with any cards that have an ‘RFID’ chip.
This could be your driver’s license, store cards, library card, club card, credit card, debit card, and the list goes on.
(Not all cards have an ‘RFID’ chip so consider this before purchasing your Travel Guard products, so you get the right amount of card protection).
Get Protected Now
So that’s it. As we head off on our next leg of our world adventures, I want to ensure we remain as safe as possible in this world of digital technology. And I’m now in possession of Travel Guard protection. There are several choices but I’m using the credit card wallet which has the technology built inside the center and also has a passport wallet, and one single Travel Guard card for my extra cards, so we are safe to go.
There are several choices but I’m using the credit card wallet which has the technology built inside the center and also has a passport wallet, and one single Travel Guard card for my extra cards, so we are safe to go.
How many cards does it protect – Travel Guard has approx 100mm E-Field, which is a kind digital protective perimeter. This will protect about 12-15 credit / debit cards, depending on your cards thickness.
Passports – All new Australian passports (and a lot of other countries too) now incorporate this smart card technology. I was also impressed at how much this wallet holds – take a look at my photo above for proof. Also, the technology is built into the wallet, so no need for an extra Travel Guard card to be placed inside as well.
Warranty – As I looked into our needs I also am pleased that firstly these Travel Guard products have a 5-year warranty.
Lifespan – Travel Guard has an effective lifespan of approx five years.
Test it works – Simply place your Travel Guard next to a card with an ‘RFID’ chip when you go to make a ‘Tap and Go’ payment. Your Travel Guard will prevent the debit/credit card reader from seeing your card information and will display an error message to you on the ‘Tap and Go’ device screen. But if you remove the Travel Guard, your debit/credit card will be accepted instantly.
You need to protect not only yourself, and every member of the family.