RFID wallet?

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A Boglehead
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RFID wallet?

Post by A Boglehead » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:44 pm

Do you have any experience with or opinion about RFID wallets?

My credit card company recommended one, but my bank had no opinion.

thank you!

bhtomj
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by bhtomj » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:30 pm

The "Wonder Wallet" http://www.getwonderwallet.com has RFID protection. Its $10 at Walmart. My wife bought me one as a joke, but it is actually great for holding gift and credit cards. I am not a paid spokesman. :D

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pennstater2005
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:52 pm

I use a Saddleback wallet which has RFID protection. It holds four to five credit cards per side comfortably and I can fit a folded up bill in there as well. I'll never go back to a regular wallet again. 100 year warranty. Only $27.

http://www.saddlebackleather.com/credit ... ard-wallet
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miles monroe
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by miles monroe » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:15 pm

marketing hype to sell something you don't need.

1. your credit card may not even be rfid enabled. does it have the 4 nested curved lines? identified as blink or pay pass or something similar?

2. in the unlikey event that someone steals your info, your liability is zero.

3. so if you buy a wallet to protect your info you are really protecting your bank against loss.

4. still want protection? you can buy sleeves for a lot less than a special wallet.

evancox10
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by evancox10 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:41 am

I don't think any of my CC are RFID enabled now, and I have quite a few (~6-8). This tech was being pushed a few years ago as blink/pay pass. It provided no security OR usability improvements over the existing mag stripe while requiring new reader HW, so there wasn't much incentive for adoption on either the consumer, retailer, or issuer sides.

If you are thinking about the increasingly prevalent chip-enabled cards with the rectangular metal area, note that these are NOT necessarily RFID enabled. In fact, out of the 4 chip cards randomly in front of me right now, none of them have any indication of any RFID capabilities. Pretty sure that none of my cards have it now. One of them, a Chase Freedom CC, in the past WAS in fact RFID enabled, but with the new chip card I just received it no longer has that. Chip cards, as opposed to RFID cards, require physical contact on the metal rectangle in order to read them. If someone has access to that, your wallet security has already been breached.

Now, there are a few items that DO still have RFID enabled, namely US passports and federal ID cards (passport card, Global Entry card, etc). There may be some basis for shielding these items. The cover of the passport is supposed to be metallically shielded such that it can only be read when opened. However there have been reports that it only needs to be opened just a little bit in order to be read. These IDs are supposed to have some encryption/protection, such that just reading the information from it does not give an attacker anything useful without the secret key, but by most accounts the security implementation was pathetically weak and easily cracked. The Global Entry card I received even came with its own metallic sleeve, indicating the government's own lack of faith in the security technology. (That or the strength of citizens' paranoia!)

All that considered, there are probably easier ways of committing fraud rather than individually targeting travellers for passport info. Why go for one person at a time when you can hack a retailer/bank and get tens to hundreds of thousands at once? I don't think shielding for passports or ID cards is really necessary. Unless you are very paranoid and it just makes you happy to know that you are protected within this threat model. (They can still mug you/steal it!)

I found some good articles on this. The first one covers the general topic of RFID, chips, and the differences between the two in both credit cards and passports, while the second one focuses exclusively on passports:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/per ... 99038.html
http://www.practicalhacks.com/2011/05/0 ... ta-secure/

Call_Me_Op
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:31 am

Why would you need one?
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czaj
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by czaj » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:51 am

I use http://www.flipsidewallet.com/ but not necessarily for the RFID protection.

takeshi
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by takeshi » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:41 am

miles monroe wrote:marketing hype to sell something you don't need.
It's up to each to determine what lengths they're willing to go to. I'm not really worried about it myself and I know I have at least one NFC card but I very carefully monitor all my accounts. That doesn't mean that another couldn't see the benefit of peace of mind from having an additional layer of security.

Horsefly
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by Horsefly » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:51 am

Although all my cards are chip-and-PIN, I'm pretty sure none are RFID-enabled. Still, I use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HSD ... ge_o02_s00

I got it not so much for the RFID shielding (although it will do that if and when I need it), but because the clam shell has individual sleeves for each card and doesn't cause the cards to rub up against each other. I've had to replace cards somewhat frequently because the magnetic stripe wore off. Now that the magnetic stripe isn't used as much I guess that isn't as much of a problem, but I still like that this thing keeps them pretty.

Steve

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Watty
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by Watty » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:07 am

evancox10 wrote:I don't think any of my CC are RFID enabled now, and I have quite a few (~6-8). This tech was being pushed a few years ago as blink/pay pass. It provided no security OR usability improvements over the existing mag stripe while requiring new reader HW, so there wasn't much incentive for adoption on either the consumer, retailer, or issuer sides.
When they were trying to push the RFID credit card out to people they also had what might have been the all time worst commercial for it that they blitzed the market with. If you remember it was about a sick zoo keeper where the animals took his credit card from his wallet and used it to buy him all sorts of stuff to make him feel better.

To most people it showed that the credit card was so insecure that a chimp could use it for fraud. This commercial convinced me that I never wanted one with RFID and when companies sent me RFID cards I called them to get one without RFID and they didn't even try to talk me into keeping the RFID card.

That idea died real quick.

profnot
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by profnot » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:47 pm

I have a friend who works as a guard for Homeland Security. He recommended I get an RFID-blocking wallet. He has one.

Yes, the data on my driver's license and Nexus cards are encrypted. Guard and I think encryption was hacked long ago.

I like carrying cards in a wallet anyway. Why not an RFID-blocking one?

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nedsaid
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by nedsaid » Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:29 pm

During my last trip to Europe, I had both an RFID wallet and an RFID passport holder. Seems like this is a bigger problem in Europe than the United States. Better safe than sorry I guess.
A fool and his money are good for business.

A Boglehead
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by A Boglehead » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:56 pm

Thank you everyone!

I ended up calling every company with whom I have a credit card, and it turns out none of my credit cards have RFID.

One of the companies said if I had a card w/RFID, to request one without, so the RFID blocking wallet isn't necessary.

I really appreciate your input!

EZ James
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by EZ James » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:56 am

Many of you have seen videos that demonstrate how certain information can be sniffed from an RFID credit card. Maybe these notes will help you decide if it’s worth worrying about. Please advise me of any errors in my casual findings presented here.

I just noticed the RFID symbol on my Costco Anywhere/Visa card so I asked Citibank to replace it with a non-RFID card. They were unable to do so.

So I began reviewing Youtube videos and miscellaneous articles on the subject. A number of the videos show people testing various types of RF blockers.

In all cases I viewed the tests were superficial and limited, They merely demonstrated that under their particular test conditions that blocking was or was not achieved. In some cases they were performed by a company selling RFID blocking protection. In others, they were individuals with NFC enabled Android phones demonstrating how the phone itself could be used for testing. Others used off-the-shelf sensors.

Unprotected cards seem to be vulnerable at typical ranges of 5 to 50 cm depending on the test setup but longer ranges can be achieved.

I have not seen the degree of protection quantified for any wallet. From the ads for protected wallets I can only conclude that they offer some unknown degree of protection that will last for an unknown period of time. And if the RF pickpocket increases the power density incident on the wallet it will defeat the protection.

The RFID wallets usually employ a flexible shielding material of some type, presumably a foil or metalized plastic of some type. I expect those that offer broadband protection to provide less protection overall. (Credit cards are typically scanned at 13.56MHz; other RFID cards exist from the low KHz up to UHF frequencies)

Several reviewers commented that the RFID protection diminishes with time. This is no surprise considering that if one deforms a conductor its resistance normally increases. A wallet being opened and closed enough times is bound to degrade the material that provides the blocking.

Carrying extra cards in the hope of confusing the attacker does not work. It just adds more cards to the their booty.

It is possible to identify the embedded antenna on the card and interrupt it but I don’t know if that violates the agreement with the card company.

Jammers do exist. Here is an example: https://www.armourcard.com/rfid-jammer/. I suspect that for it to be effective it may have to be placed on the card and aligned with it rather than just on the person but I could be wrong.

Next I tried unsuccessfully to find a documented case where RF sniffing was successfully used to actual steal the information. Determining just how a particular card became compromised may well be impossible.

One video depicted a person showing how easy it was to sniff a credit card but said it was not worth it because there were easier ways to get the information.

In my own case I feel that the threat of RF sniffing is very small so won’t bother getting a protected wallet unless my lifestyle changes.

For me the Holy Grail of RFID cards would be one with a button to enable it, disabled otherwise.

Longtermgrowth
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by Longtermgrowth » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:25 pm

I got to wondering how close someone with a smartphone, scanning for a credit card, would need to be to read the magnetic strip or chip in someone's wallet.
Started searching and found various videos that made me nervous about it, but since I like my old wallet, I simply lined the unused pocket behind the card slots with aluminum foil, which also happens to face outward in my pocket.

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VictoriaF
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:36 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:29 pm
During my last trip to Europe, I had both an RFID wallet and an RFID passport holder. Seems like this is a bigger problem in Europe than the United States. Better safe than sorry I guess.
I use an RFID sleeve on my passport. When I travel in Europe, I frequently have to pull the passport out from the sleeve and I wonder if the sleeve may be useless at the moments when the passport is the most vulnerable.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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nedsaid
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by nedsaid » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:55 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:36 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:29 pm
During my last trip to Europe, I had both an RFID wallet and an RFID passport holder. Seems like this is a bigger problem in Europe than the United States. Better safe than sorry I guess.
I use an RFID sleeve on my passport. When I travel in Europe, I frequently have to pull the passport out from the sleeve and I wonder if the sleeve may be useless at the moments when the passport is the most vulnerable.

Victoria
I guess to be safe, I will have to have my shirts and pants made out of aluminum foil. :D
My guess is the bigger risk is that of having your bank accounts hacked. There gets to be a point where we are all vulnerable to some degree. Never had a problem, a former boss did mention he saw somebody with something like looked like a scanner on a bus in Barcelona. Not sure how widespread this really is, I just did what was recommended and prudent.

The thing is, during a 2013 vacation, unbeknownst to me, my mail was getting pilfered while it was supposedly on hold at the post office. Someone stole credit card checks from my mail and helped themselves. The banks investigated and I was off the hook. Obvious what happened. I contacted the Postal Inspectors and later filed a Police report. I also noticed that the volume of mail upon my return was less than expected and it came late. I had to call the Post Office any pretty much say, "Dude, where is my mail?" It finally came about four days late. A local Police Detective did excellent work and I made an appearance before a jury. The guy was prosecuted and convicted. So I did the right thing with the mail hold and still got burned. Kudos to my local Police Department.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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DanMahowny
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by DanMahowny » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:06 pm

A Boglehead wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:44 pm
Do you have any experience with or opinion about RFID wallets?

My credit card company recommended one, but my bank had no opinion.

thank you!
Your credit card company recommends one because it protects their interests, not yours.
Funding secured

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VictoriaF
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:02 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:55 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:36 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:29 pm
During my last trip to Europe, I had both an RFID wallet and an RFID passport holder. Seems like this is a bigger problem in Europe than the United States. Better safe than sorry I guess.
I use an RFID sleeve on my passport. When I travel in Europe, I frequently have to pull the passport out from the sleeve and I wonder if the sleeve may be useless at the moments when the passport is the most vulnerable.

Victoria
I guess to be safe, I will have to have my shirts and pants made out of aluminum foil. :D
But no tin hat!
nedsaid wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:55 pm
My guess is the bigger risk is that of having your bank accounts hacked. There gets to be a point where we are all vulnerable to some degree. Never had a problem, a former boss did mention he saw somebody with something like looked like a scanner on a bus in Barcelona. Not sure how widespread this really is, I just did what was recommended and prudent.
The biggest problem with bank accounts is that if you are away for a long time you don't receive the bank's paper mail alerting you to an unusual activity. When I go to the Camino, I block access to my brokerage accounts.

nedsaid wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:55 pm
The thing is, during a 2013 vacation, unbeknownst to me, my mail was getting pilfered while it was supposedly on hold at the post office. Someone stole credit card checks from my mail and helped themselves. The banks investigated and I was off the hook. Obvious what happened. I contacted the Postal Inspectors and later filed a Police report. I also noticed that the volume of mail upon my return was less than expected and it came late. I had to call the Post Office any pretty much say, "Dude, where is my mail?" It finally came about four days late. A local Police Detective did excellent work and I made an appearance before a jury. The guy was prosecuted and convicted. So I did the right thing with the mail hold and still got burned. Kudos to my local Police Department.
This is good to know. I always ask the Post Office to hold my mail and never thought that they may be interested in reading it.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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nedsaid
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by nedsaid » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:49 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:02 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:55 pm
The thing is, during a 2013 vacation, unbeknownst to me, my mail was getting pilfered while it was supposedly on hold at the post office. Someone stole credit card checks from my mail and helped themselves. The banks investigated and I was off the hook. Obvious what happened. I contacted the Postal Inspectors and later filed a Police report. I also noticed that the volume of mail upon my return was less than expected and it came late. I had to call the Post Office any pretty much say, "Dude, where is my mail?" It finally came about four days late. A local Police Detective did excellent work and I made an appearance before a jury. The guy was prosecuted and convicted. So I did the right thing with the mail hold and still got burned. Kudos to my local Police Department.
This is good to know. I always ask the Post Office to hold my mail and never thought that they may be interested in reading it.

Victoria
I never did find out how the person got to my mail. He had been a squatter in my condo complex who lived across the street from my mailbox. A disabled fellow and his wife had lived there, but when the fellow died, wife left town and caregivers moved in. It was a problem, finally the property manager boarded the place up. The detectives figured it all out, my guess is that they worked in concert with the Postal Inspectors. The thing is, Postal Inspectors just do their thing and they never tell you what happened.

The mail was on hold at my local post office. Normally they label a cardboard box and put all the mail in there for the period of the hold. Somehow, the thief must have had access or knew somebody who did. Didn't know the thief but I did look him up on Facebook. I saw pictures of him in Amsterdam, I wondered if he took the trip on stolen money!

Typically, theft incidents like this are not from employees but contractors. The crook I think had a criminal record, there is just no way he would get a job inside a post office. He must have worked in concert with somebody who did. I think local police knew about this guy and were keeping tabs on him and gathering evidence. Evidently, my report tipped the scale.

Dumb crook. He made the checks out to himself. He went into a check cashing place and said he was me and the check cashing place actually had the gall to send me a demand letter. I immediately reported this to our State Attorney General's Consumer fraud division and they sent a nastygram to the check cashing company. The thing is, the check cashing company figured out these were stolen checks and actually had a notice in their local store to not to take checks from me. Turkeys, they just figured I would pay up. The letter claimed that State Law compelled me to make good!

I think what happened was that the thief had to make restitution to the two banks. He stole credit card checks from two companies. Found this out when I accessed my bill pay on the bank website. Saw a big credit card bill. Called the bank, reported it, got that cleared up. Then a week or two weeks later, I saw another big credit card bill. It was disconcerting to say the least. But fortunately, that was it.

I always call my bank and my credit card companies when I am traveling. So I took the precautions and I still got taken. RFID Wallets and Passport Holders don't guard against getting mail stolen.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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VictoriaF
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:12 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:49 pm
Dumb crook. He made the checks out to himself. He went into a check cashing place and said he was me and the check cashing place actually had the gall to send me a demand letter. I immediately reported this to our State Attorney General's Consumer fraud division and they sent a nastygram to the check cashing company. The thing is, the check cashing company figured out these were stolen checks and actually had a notice in their local store to not to take checks from me. Turkeys, they just figured I would pay up. The letter claimed that State Law compelled me to make good!
This is a really good story, Ned! A dead man, a villain, an accomplice, Postal Inspectors, and a check cashing place!

It turns out that check fraud is still one of the most common types of financial fraud. Just yesterday, Deposit Accounts had an article about it Why You Need to Keep Your Eyes on Your Checks.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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nedsaid
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by nedsaid » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:03 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:12 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:49 pm
Dumb crook. He made the checks out to himself. He went into a check cashing place and said he was me and the check cashing place actually had the gall to send me a demand letter. I immediately reported this to our State Attorney General's Consumer fraud division and they sent a nastygram to the check cashing company. The thing is, the check cashing company figured out these were stolen checks and actually had a notice in their local store to not to take checks from me. Turkeys, they just figured I would pay up. The letter claimed that State Law compelled me to make good!
This is a really good story, Ned! A dead man, a villain, an accomplice, Postal Inspectors, and a check cashing place!

It turns out that check fraud is still one of the most common types of financial fraud. Just yesterday, Deposit Accounts had an article about it Why You Need to Keep Your Eyes on Your Checks.

Victoria
It isn't exactly Ocean's 11 or The Great Train Robbery. The total was about $3,400. Never did find out how the guy did it. But I can make that up in a novel. So I don't think this is going to be the stuff of a great novel or a movie. I don't know, "The Little Postal Robbery" by Nedsaid. I just don't think it is going to sell. I will tell you what, you can be my agent and float the manuscript. The battle between good and evil is catching the crook and defeating the evil check cashing company. The suspense of Nedsaid riding the commuter rail to the Courthouse while he is being pursued by panhandlers. The drama of Nedsaid getting out of his seat, fleeing the panhandlers and heroically taking a new seat at the other end of the train. That is the chase scene. Once off the train, dodging the street preachers and the street musicians. The clerk at the Courthouse is kind of cute and I wink at her, so that is the romantic angle. Problem is, I didn't get the girl. But I almost have all the elements for the Great American Movie. Of course, this has to be well written with an exciting plot with twists and turns not knowing the outcome until the last page.

My other great book is going to be the "Anti-Factors, The Investments NOT to Invest In for the 21st Century." It will be filled with hard to understand graphs, very obscure statistics, and with vague language intended to obfuscate every point I am trying to make. The language will be so impenetrable that maybe an actuary might try to read it. People will say I am utterly brilliant because no one will admit they couldn't make any sense of it. A best seller that nobody will read.

So I don't know. Glad you enjoyed the story, it was fun telling it. But neither that or my "Anti-Factors" book will probably sell.

In any case, Larry Swedroe will probably beat me to the idea, publish the book, and even use the famous Nedsaid quote marks.

Oh well, they say the best stuff in life is free. You get my writings at absolutely no charge.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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VictoriaF
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:53 am

nedsaid wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:03 am
It isn't exactly Ocean's 11 or The Great Train Robbery. The total was about $3,400. Never did find out how the guy did it. But I can make that up in a novel. So I don't think this is going to be the stuff of a great novel or a movie. I don't know, "The Little Postal Robbery" by Nedsaid. I just don't think it is going to sell. I will tell you what, you can be my agent and float the manuscript. The battle between good and evil is catching the crook and defeating the evil check cashing company. The suspense of Nedsaid riding the commuter rail to the Courthouse while he is being pursued by panhandlers. The drama of Nedsaid getting out of his seat, fleeing the panhandlers and heroically taking a new seat at the other end of the train. That is the chase scene. Once off the train, dodging the street preachers and the street musicians. The clerk at the Courthouse is kind of cute and I wink at her, so that is the romantic angle. Problem is, I didn't get the girl. But I almost have all the elements for the Great American Movie. Of course, this has to be well written with an exciting plot with twists and turns not knowing the outcome until the last page.

My other great book is going to be the "Anti-Factors, The Investments NOT to Invest In for the 21st Century." It will be filled with hard to understand graphs, very obscure statistics, and with vague language intended to obfuscate every point I am trying to make. The language will be so impenetrable that maybe an actuary might try to read it. People will say I am utterly brilliant because no one will admit they couldn't make any sense of it. A best seller that nobody will read.

So I don't know. Glad you enjoyed the story, it was fun telling it. But neither that or my "Anti-Factors" book will probably sell.

In any case, Larry Swedroe will probably beat me to the idea, publish the book, and even use the famous Nedsaid quote marks.

Oh well, they say the best stuff in life is free. You get my writings at absolutely no charge.
It's easier to have a bestselling book if you already have name recognition. You can start developing the name by doing standup and storytelling. Your story has all the elements for becoming a 5 to 7-minute routine and the path to fame. When you become a star please remember me as your early PFA (Personal Fame Adviser).

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Pajamas
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:02 am

I don't think this is a common threat currently and your liability is limited, anyway.

You don't need a special RFID-protective cover or case for your passport because the ones with that are RFID-enabled also have protection built in so that the chip can only be read when the passport is open.

If you need protection for a credit card or subway card or similar to prevent it from being rubbed in your wallet, pocket, purse, etc., you can use a gift card sleeve.

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VictoriaF
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:11 am

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:02 am
You don't need a special RFID-protective cover or case for your passport because the ones with that are RFID-enabled also have protection built in so that the chip can only be read when the passport is open.
This is interesting! When I was a Federal employee, before foreign trips I was advised to protect my RFID-enabled passport with a sleeve. I assumed that the passport was vulnerable even when it's closed. Otherwise, the sleeve is utterly useless.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Nicolas
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by Nicolas » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:39 am

nedsaid wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:55 pm
The thing is, during a 2013 vacation, unbeknownst to me, my mail was getting pilfered while it was supposedly on hold at the post office. Someone stole credit card checks from my mail and helped themselves. The banks investigated and I was off the hook. Obvious what happened. I contacted the Postal Inspectors and later filed a Police report. I also noticed that the volume of mail upon my return was less than expected and it came late. I had to call the Post Office any pretty much say, "Dude, where is my mail?" It finally came about four days late. A local Police Detective did excellent work and I made an appearance before a jury. The guy was prosecuted and convicted. So I did the right thing with the mail hold and still got burned. Kudos to my local Police Department.
Were these "credit card checks" the ones that the CC companies include with their periodic balance-transfer offers?

I've called all of my CC companies to opt out of their balance-transfer-zero-interest-rate offers as I'm never going to use them. They come with blank checks I'm presumably going to use to give myself a cash advance -- never going to happen. (I use my CCs for convenience only, never as any kind of loan. I always pay my balance in full). I view these mailings as a security risk, and I tell them so when I opt out.

My CC companies have mostly complied with my request -- except for one: Capital One. I called them in July 2015 to opt out, and for two years the mailings stopped for my two CCs with them. I know this as I wrote it down at the time. Then as if by clockwork they restarted in July 2017. I called them back and was told I can't opt out. I explained that I'd already opted out for two years. They said that was just because there were no mailings scheduled to me for those two years. I insisted and he said he would opt me out. But the next month I received the same offer for both of my CCs.

So I called back again, and again I was told I can't opt out. I told her my story related above and she put me on hold while she consulted with her manager. She finally relented and said she would opt me out of the monthly offers. I said if I got any more mailings I would cancel both cards. Now in September I received again offers in the mail on both cards. Bye Capital One!

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Pajamas
Posts: 6015
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:40 am

Here's some more information about credit cards. Apparently there has never been an actual case of RFID identity or credit card hacking:

http://thewirecutter.com/blog/dear-wire ... g-wallets/

Official information about passports from the U.S. Department of State:

https://travel.state.gov/content/passpo ... #ePassport

Will someone be able to read or access the information on the chip without my knowledge (also known as skimming or eavesdropping)?

We have taken a number of steps prevent criminals from “skimming” data from the chip, “eavesdropping” on communications between the chip and reader, “tracking” passport holders, and “cloning” the passport chip.

Skimming is the act of obtaining data from an unknowing end user who is not willingly submitting the information at that time. Eavesdropping is the interception of information as it moves electronically between the chip and the chip reader.

“Skimming.” We use an embedded metallic element in our passports. One of the simplest measures for preventing unauthorized reading of e-passports is to add RF blocking material to the cover of an e-passport. A passport has to be physically opened before it can be read. It is a simple and effective method for reducing the opportunity for unauthorized reading of the passport.

“Skimming and Eavesdropping.” We have adopted Basic Access Control (BAC) to minimize the risk of “skimming” and “eavesdropping.” A chip that is protected by the BAC mechanism denies access to its contents unless the inspection system can prove that it is authorized to access the chip. “Tracking.” The chip in the e-passport uses a randomized Unique Identifier (UID) to reduce the risk of the document bearer being tracked.

“Cloning.” Cloning involves removing an e-passport’s chip and replacing it with the chip from another passport. The simplest way to counter this threat is to make sure that the chip data matches the information on the e-passports data-page.
VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:11 am
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:02 am
You don't need a special RFID-protective cover or case for your passport because the ones with that are RFID-enabled also have protection built in so that the chip can only be read when the passport is open.
This is interesting! When I was a Federal employee, before foreign trips I was advised to protect my RFID-enabled passport with a sleeve. I assumed that the passport was vulnerable even when it's closed. Otherwise, the sleeve is utterly useless.

Victoria
It does make sense to use some kind of cover or perhaps a rubber band to keep the passport closed if you are worried. However, the odds of someone both stealing information from your passport and it having any real consequences to you are very slim. I would be more worried about the extra radiation you are exposed to when flying or spending time at the beach or pool.

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nedsaid
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Re: RFID wallet?

Post by nedsaid » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:12 am

Nicolas wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:39 am

Were these "credit card checks" the ones that the CC companies include with their periodic balance-transfer offers?
These were credit card checks but I don't remember if they were tied to balance-transfer offers. They work like regular checks, presumably I could write them out to anyone I wanted. I know the thief did. I did ask the credit card companies to stop sending checks and they did.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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flamesabers
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Location: Rochester, MN

Re: RFID wallet?

Post by flamesabers » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:23 am

A Boglehead wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:44 pm
Do you have any experience with or opinion about RFID wallets?

My credit card company recommended one, but my bank had no opinion.

thank you!
Does your cards have RFID chips in them? (If so, they should have an RFID logo on them).

If you don't, it's completely unnecessary I think.

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