Contactless payment pickpockets can steal thousands of euros
While contactless payment seems to be safe, this is not the case. "Pickpockets" can steal thousands of euros from a contactless card account simply by walking past the owner with a mobile payment device. The thief will need to know the pin code, which is often quite easy to see while someone is withdrawing money from an ATM or paying for something, according to a test done by consumers association Consumentenbond. The fact that it is easy to steal money off a contactless payment card has always been known, but the extent of the damage that can be done is a new revelation. According to most banks, the limit for contactless payment is 50 euros. Anything more and you have to actually put your card into a machine. But according to the Consumentenbond, this limit only applies to payments made without a pin. Because people do not realize this, a "pickpocket" can steal thousands large amounts from their accounts without them realizing. The Consumentenbond also tested how well the mobile payment device picks up contactless cards. And the answer is very well. A mobile payment device can pick up a loose card in someone's pants pocket or jacket pockets, a card in a wallet or briefcase or even a thick purse. This means that a criminal can steal money from most any contactless payment card simply by walking past the owner. And can steal large amounts if he knows your pin. The Consumentenbond is calling on banks to make things harder on contactless-pickpockets by lowering the maximum amount that can be paid via contactless payment significantly and by making sure all their customers know the limit of their card. Until then the bond calls on consumers to protect their contactless payment cards. Some banks, including ABN Amro, have a special sleeve that prevents mobile payment devices making contact with the card. Cards can also be protected with something metal, like a wallet with a metal case or a simple piece of aluminium foil.