RFID Pickpockets – Stop’em with RFID Blocking Gear...

You may think of a pickpocket as a person that bumps into you to steal your wallet, but now there’s a different kind of pickpocketing and it’s called electronic pickpocketing. How do RFID pickpockets work, and why can they be so devastating?  Tech-savvy RFID pickpockets – which are also known as “digital thieves” can now silently download your personal credit card information and ID data with handheld “skimming” devices – including some newer cellphones, that are simply held within a few feet of your wallet or purse.  Why is this possible? It’s possible because most of the newly issued credit cards, many driver’s license and all passports now have embedded RFID chips. RFID chips send out electromagnetic signals with all the information stored on the card for electronic readers to capture.  In the case of your passport they can even broadcast your photo. RFID technology is a good thing, but in the hands of RFID pickpockets, it can be devastating. So how do you protect yourself from electronic RFID pickpockets who use electronic readers?  You need to use RFID blocking wallets, purses, or other RFID blocking gear. Protect Your Identity & Personal Information with RFID Blocking Gear The latest travel wallets, purses, backpacks and other gear, have RFID shielding built-into the material of the product for your security and peace of mind.  Wallets, bags, and backpacks that contain this RFID blocking material look like ordinary wallets and purses, except depending on their design, the product may entirely have RFID shielding,  or may just have dedicated pockets to RFID shielding. It is in these RFID blocking pockets where you would place your wallet or other digital ID. You are most vulnerable to pickpockets, both regular and electronic, in crowded situations or in places where you place your things down like hanging your bag on the back of chair in a restaurant. The results of being electronically pickpocketed can be devastating, so consider out-smarting the bad guys with RFID blacking gear. For your peace of mind, see our extensive collection of RFID blocking travel gear.      ...

Important Credit Card Tips – Read Before You Travel...

There are several things you must do when you take your credit cards with you on vacation – especially if you are traveling internationally.  You should have a plan of action to protect  if your credit card is lost or stolen when on vacation, not just because a missing credit card can wreak havoc on your vacation plans, but it can leave a traveler vulnerable to unauthorized charges and possibly even identity theft. Start protecting the credit card(s) you’ll take on your trip before you leave the house. First decide which cards you want to bring and leave any non-critical cards at home -. You should bring just one card  as your primary and one or two backups, which should be stored separately — not in your wallet or purse — but away from the primary card . A good place to put a backup credit card is in the hotel room safe – just don’t forget it when you check out! The next step you should take is to contact the customer service departments of the cards they plan on taking on the trip – you want to tell them about your travel plans – specifically when and where you’ll be traveling.  Your card company might suspect suspicious activity if charges made in another city other than your hometown show up on your account. This is especially true if the charges are made overseas.   If you don’t do this some credit card card companies (and it is safe to say that this may be the majority of companies) will shut down or flag your credit card account for possible fraud and rendered unusable if you don’t call your card company before you travel. Be warned, though, notifying your card company of your travel plans doesn’t always eliminate problems — some travelers have reported that their account was flagged when traveling overseas, so that is one reason you need a back-up card from another issuer in case you can’t use...

How to Digitize Your Wallet’s Contents

If you would like to travel lighter and worry about one less thing, you can replace most of your wallet’s functionality with your phone. The following is a listing of information that will show you how to switch over most of the items you carry in your wallet.  Now obviously, you need to consider the security issues with digitizing your wallet, but once you do, you have some great options. First off, you should know by now that there are already great, convenient things your phone can do to stand in for your wallet, but the future looks even better, especially with it comes to Near Field Communication technology (NFC), which is built into most of the Android phones on the market. Here is a listing of some of the apps that can help you digitize your wallets contents: Money Phones can’t dispense physical cash, so you’ll still need that, plus at least one credit card. But if you’re cool with a binder clip or something simple for carrying cash, you can still use your phone to pay your friends, perhaps for dinner tabs or wagers about, say, living without a wallet. The most universal solution is PayPal’s mobile app (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry), which allows users to “bump” phones together to exchange funds. But even when bumping doesn’t work—or doesn’t quite feel right—sending money to a recipient is almost too easy, once you have their email address. Wing them some cash drawn from a bank account or credit card, and you’re no longer in pizza debt. Discount, Club, and Membership Cards Some stores make their membership cards mandatory, or make items nearly unaffordable if you aren’t using their member cards. Rather than stuff them in your wallet or clutter your key chain, load them into an app that recreates them on your screen. • Key Ring is a free application (available for Android, iOS and WP7) where all you have to do is take photos of your existing cards, and it does the rest. Key Ring allows you to digitize...

Want to Get Your Lost Wallet Back – Carry a Picture of a Cute Baby!...

When traveling, you usually want to carry as thin as a wallet as possible, however some Scottish researchers have published a study that have interesting results.  Their study suggests that having a photograph of a cute baby photo in your wallet can be a seriously worthy addition to any wallet. Psychologists in Edinburgh conducted a study which left 240 test wallets “lost” around city streets last year.  Each of these wallets contained a mailing address that a good Samaritan could act on. In the plastic photo frame of equal numbers of wallets, pictures of “a smiling baby, a cute puppy, a happy family or a contented elderly couple” were inserted, or no image was left at all. Some wallets also contained papers indicating the owner had recently donated to charity. So, what happened? The baby photograph wallets had the highest return rate, with 88 per cent of the 40 being sent back. Next came the puppy, the family and the elderly couple, with 53 per cent, 48 and 28 respectively. At 20 per cent and 15, the charity card and control wallets had the lowest return rates. It’s worth noting that 42 percent of all the wallets were returned, a higher number than the research team, or most hardened urbanites, would expect. The baby photographs, however, may have added extra motivation by triggering an evolutionary compassion toward “vulnerable infants,” which the study’s psychologists cite as the underlying factor in those wallets’ higher return rates. So consider putting a photograph of a cute baby in your wallet.  If you don’t have such a photo, simply do a photo search for the words cute baby and you will be able to find a few photos that might help put.  By doing so, it appears that this little extra photo might just tip the scales for having your lost wallet’s finder send your wallet back to you – or maybe even give you a call.  For additional information on this article, visit the Times UK News website...

Money Scams Abroad

When traveling abroad, unfortunately some people will will try to take advantage of you being tourist and try to take more of your hard earned money than they should.  The following is a listing of some of the most common money scams that international travelers should be aware of. I’m Sorry, Your Money is Counterfeit Many travelers have reported this scam occurring in both restaurants and in taxi cabs around the world.  Either at the end of your meal or at the end of your taxi ride, you go to pay the bill or taxi fare and pay with a large currency note note.  The waiter or taxi driver will take the money from you, however the bill is quickly dropped out of your view, or in the case of a waiter, they come back a minute of so later and explain that the note you gave them is a fake.  The taxi driver or waiter will apologize profusely for the inconvenience and ask for payment again. What you don’t know is that the first note you gave was real, but it was switched for a counterfeit one once outside of your view.  Some travelers suggest writing on your larger currency notes so you can catch scams such as this. Euro Coin Switch Use caution when exchanging your U.S. dollars for the Euro.  Many travelers report that in some restaurants and foreign exchange money booth tellers, they are known to substitute the one Euro coin with a quarter, as they are roughly the same size. If you don’t look closely, you might be conned into thinking that the quarters are actually Euros. It doesn’t matter if you take longer at the counter— never leave without counting and checking and then double-checking your money, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the currency. A quarter is worth significantly less than a Euro and when you tally the accumulated loss, you’ll realize what a profit the waiter, cab driver, or money tellers make...

Six Things Not To Keep In Your Wallet or Purse

Six things your should not keep in your wallet or purse. Your Social Security Card This has been preached to you for years, but many people still choose to ignore it.  Never carry your Social Security Card, or anything with that number on it.Your nine-digit Social Security number is all a savvy ID thief needs to open new credit card accounts or loans in your name. ID-theft experts say your Social Security card is the absolute worst item to carry around. Once you’ve removed your card, look for anything else that may contain your SSN. As of December 2005, states can no longer display your SSN on newly issued driver’s licenses, state ID cards and motor-vehicle registrations. If you still have an older photo ID, request a new card prior to the expiration date. There might be an additional fee, but it’s worth it to protect your identity. Retired people should also consider removing their Medicare card also because it has your SSN on it. Instead photocopy your Medicare card (front and back), black out the last four digits of your SSN on the copy, and carry it with you instead of your real card. The following is a listing of places Kiplingler has identified as the 10 most riskiest places to give out your Social Security Number which is ranked based on the number of data breaches involving Social Security numbers. 1. Universities and colleges 2. Banking and financial institutions 3. Hospitals 4. State governments 5. Local government 6. Federal government 7. Medical businesses (These are businesses that concentrate on services and products for the medical field, such as distributors of diabetes or dialysis supplies, medical billing services, pharmaceutical companies, etc.) 8. Non-profit organizations 9. Technology companies 10. Health insurers and medical offices Password Cheat Sheet The average American uses at least seven different passwords (and probably should use even more to avoid repeating them on multiple sites/accounts). Ideally, each of those passwords should be a unique combination...