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Man bumps into victim, steals money from contactless card

A Londoner says a hacker managed to steal £20 from his contactless payment card by bumping into him on a busy train.

The man, who works for a computer security magazine, says aman “bumped into the pocket for a bit too long”, which made him realise what had just happened. He was later refunded by his bank.

Events like these are what make some people question the security of contactless payment systems, while others look for means to protect themselves.

Telling his story on the magazine's website, Roi Perez said: "When a man slowly bumped into me and my pocket for a bit too long, it took me a second to realise what had just happened. I called my bank and found out that said individual had managed to steal £20 from my account via a contactless card payment; my bank promptly reimbursed me."

Contactless credit and debit cards are issued across the UK now, and they can be used to make purchases of up to £30. They are used by simply tapping them against a card reader – no PIN is required. "The card was not stolen, but an illegal transaction took place in which £20 was deducted from an account via an unauthorised contactless payment which happened on the train."

Contactless payment cards have proven to be extremely useful in city transportation and in shopping centres, when people are looking to buy sundries such as a pack of cigarettes.

There is a number of ways people can protect themselves from unauthorised transactions like this one, such as the RFID blocking wallets.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.