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Diatribe: When A Hug Can Cost An Identity.

05/13/2014

RFIDWalletHave you ever heard the phrase “No good deed goes unpunished”?  Sometimes it can be dangerous to do what feels like the right thing to do.  More and more frequently, it seems, criminals are relying on the kindness of strangers to commit their crimes.  Tymikia Jackson of Dekalb County, Georgia, for example, learned the hard way that giving a hug to the wrong person can cost thousands of dollars and she wants everyone to know how easy it is to be the victim of identity theft.

Recently, while pumping gas, she was approached by a woman who asked if she could spare some cash to help put gas in her tank.  The big-hearted Jackson couldn’t resist.

“So I gave her my last $20 in my pocket.  She was ecstatic.  She said, ‘Thank you so much, I really appreciate it … can I please have a hug?'” – Tymikia Jackson

The woman was travelling with a man who was in the driver seat of their car.  He got out of the car to thank her and also asked for a hug.  In hindsight, however, his hug was different.

The next morning Jackson learned why the couple was so eager to hug her.  She checked her bank account and close to three thousand dollars was gone.  Less than two hours after she left that gast station, two charges posted to her debit card … one for more than $2,400 from a grocery store and $200 was withdrawn from an ATM.

Jackson, it turns out, was the victim of high-tech thieves using radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners.  These devices can be used to scan information from your wallet or purse simply be being close to you.  Jackson had her credit cards in a cellphone case that was in her front pocket and her information was scanned and captured when she was hugged by the two strangers at the gas station.

Apparently, despite this incident, Jackson won’t be turning her back on the needy.  She firmly believes that not everyone is a bad person, she’s learned a lesson but she won’t stop helping people.  I admire her attitude and the fact that she’s sharing her story.

Special anti-RFID wallets or sleeves can be purchased to protect yourself from such scanners.

Despite the deception Jackson said she won’t turn her back on the needy. “Everyone’s not a bad person,” she said. “You take the lesson from the setback, but I’ll never stop helping people.”

You can protect yourself from radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners by purchasing anti-RFID wallets, inserts or sleeves that can’t be penetrated.  It sounds to me like it’s just a matter of time before all wallets come with this sort of lining.

Did you know that this technology existed?

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4 Comments
  1. Aw, this is not good at all and scary as well.

    Like

  2. I’d heard about it. Scary, indeed.

    Like

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