Saturday, 21 January 2017

Hollow assurance

Just days after I had written about my wife's harrowing experience with the fraudulent usage of her credit card in Singapore, Bank Negara Malaysia came out with an assurance that "contactless cards cannot be cloned or used for unauthorised transactions by fraudsters." What bunkum! It's a hollow assurance that cuts no ice with either my wife or me. Neither does it cut any ice with my friend in Kuala Lumpur who had not one by three credit cards compromised.

While fraudsters are running wild in the country stealing electronic data from the newly-issued RFID-based credit and debit cards in the country, this is just a plain old-fashioned denial and misinformation that such electronic theft is impossible, or at the very least, very difficult. The fact that it does occur has been brushed aside. Whatever for? The central bank should request the card issuers in the country to educate their card holders properly on the best way to safeguard their electronic information, not dismiss the threat of theft.

Only thing is, it is not a threat. It happens, because with the proper equipment, skimmers can steal electronic information from as far away as 30 feet. The thieves don't have to stand close to you; they don't have to brush themselves against your body or your bag; standing 30 feet away is as good as standing closer to you.

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