RFID-blocking products are practically worthless. Here’s why

“We’ve all heard of RFID skimming right?” Simon Hill reports for Digital Trends. “It’s where criminals with RFID readers sneak up behind us and scan the credit card or passport in our pocket or bag to steal information they can use for fraudulent transactions or identity theft.”

“The thre at of RFID skimming has given rise to an enormous industry of RFID-blocking products,” Hill reports. “It’s a standard feature in smart wallets, and you can even buy shirts and jeans with RFID blocking pockets built in. The question is: Are they worth buying?”

“‘No, they’re a waste of money,’ Roger Grimes, data-driven defense evangelist at KnowBe4, told Digital Trends. ‘You shouldn’t spend one cent. There has still to this day not been a report of a single real-world crime that an RFID blocking product would have stopped,'” Hill reports. “In theory, criminals can buy readers for less than $100 and then sneak up behind people and scan their pockets or bags… But there’s a problem with this supposition. ‘The information that’s actually stored and transmitted on the card is not enough to complete a transaction anymore,’ Grimes said. ‘That changed many years ago.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s no harm is using these RFID-blocking products, just no benefit, either.


  1. MDN: “There’s no harm is using these RFID-blocking products, just no benefit, either.”

    There appears to be harm – people are spending money on useless products and useless product features.

  2. There is one harm I know of, but slight. When you have an RFID card in your wallet that you use to go through a turnstile at the subway or similar access situation, you have to take the card out of your wallet if you have an RFID wallet. If you have a regular wallet, you usually can just hold to wallet with the card in it up to the scanner. So an inconvenience.

  3. “ a credit card transmits a one-time transaction code that’s encrypted”
    Is this true? I know Apple Pay does it, but how does a credit card generate and encrypt such a code?

    1. My understanding has always been that the anything since the introduction of the chip reader uses the one-time code. That’s the reason we left the old strip reader behind. There are simply different ways of doing it, some of which use RFID, and some (the basic chip) that don’t.

      Please correct me if I’m wrong!

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