How to avoid payment fraud by approach


At the beginning of 2019, the means of payment underwent a major transformation with a series of innovations, among them the approximation – both with the cell phone and the physical card of the issuing institution. However, in 2020, that was when the great leap in the use of this resource occurred.

According to the Brazilian Association of Credit Card and Services Companies, during the first half of 2020 there was an increase of 330% in the use of these means of payment when compared to the same period in 2019.

Much of this increase was driven by the context of the covid-19 pandemic, in which the less contact with devices in common use, the better. However, the increased use of this functionality and the issuance of cards that allow the use of this feature has also opened up an opportunity for fraudsters.

Fraud can occur in some ways, most of them without the victim even taking the card out of the wallet

One of the most used scams is the one that takes advantage of the large flow of people in train stations and bus terminals, where the fraudster just needs to “fish” a card that is positioned in side pockets and approach his card machine to make a charge . Most of these attempts are less than R $ 50.00, due to the fact that most payment methods do not ask for a second authentication factor (such as the card password) to effect a transaction like this.

Another popular scam works similarly, but at events. During the carnival of 2020 we had several reports of people who were “bumped” during their celebration and only realized the transaction days later when looking at the credit / debit card account statement.

How to prevent scams like these

There are some good practices to make using this function more secure:

1 – Card covers with RFID lock

It is already common to see ads for credit / debit card covers that block the frequency that allows the card to communicate with the billing machine, thereby ensuring the security that there will be no fraudulent transaction regardless of where it is stored. Charges can only be made when the card is removed from the cover for use.

2 – RFID lock bags and wallets

They work on the same principle as card covers. In other words, no signal wave comes into contact with the card until it is paid by the owner.

3 – Activation and deactivation in the card issuer’s app

A good practice is to use the feature to activate and deactivate the RFID function directly in the card issuer’s application, according to the need for use.

4 – Attention in the transaction

It is important to keep the card in hand at all times, as the approach aims at greater control of your card, and it is not necessary to hand it over to third parties to be inserted into the machine.

Following these tips, the experience with payment by approach will certainly be safer and more peaceful. The convenience of not having to hand over the card to a third party or entering a password is super valid, but in order to have good usability, it is important to pay attention not to become another victim.


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