Contactless Payment Theft

You may have seen stories in the news about Contactless Payment theft; how it is possible for a criminal to merely brush against you with a new contactless card reader and steal up to £30 from your contactless payment card. It might be a good idea to consider protecting your card against contactless RFID attacks?01_reader

You can either decide that pressing a contactless card reader against your wallet isn’t a plausible crime (it is a plausible crime) or you won’t be affected. Or you can be a  little paranoid and go out and buy a screened wallet or purse, designed to block the RFID signal. They aren’t cheap!

However, you can do it yourself with stuff you should already have around the house – Gaffer Tape and Aluminium Foil. Ideally, you would have a sheet of copper mesh to use as it’s even more effective at blocking the RFID signal but several layers of aluminium foil works just fine – blocking up to 80% of the signal and rendering the contactless card reader ineffective.



Tools needed! 1 pair of scissors.

03_gaffer tape strips

Start by laying out 3 strips of Gaffer Tape, roughly the height of your wallet and aboud 2.5 time the length. This will form the case for the foil

04_foilTear off a nice big piece of foil and start to fold it up so it is a bit less than the height of your wallet. Make sure it is very flat!


Carefully place the foil onto the tape and 07_coveR_in_tapefold up the tape over the foil and trim the edges down so you have a nice neat packet



Slip your RFID signal blocker into the notes section… and there you have it. 1 nicely protected wallet. No contactless theft possible and I have just saved myself £30 for a new screened wallet and feel a little safer when on public transport. Lovely.

OK – I know this is not my usualy Oracle technical blog, and Heath-Robinson inventions aren’t my usual story, but I do have a client who makes these machines and I probably know a little more about them than most. I’ve had one of these RFID blockers in my wallet for a very long time.