Edit: Since publishing this article it has come to our attention that the below image originally appeared in Russia. A spokesman for The UK Cards Association said: "We have not received any reports of this type of incident ever occurring in the UK. Cardholders are fully protected against fraud and would receive a full refund from their bank." That said, we would always encourage you to remain vigilant.
Contactless payment means thieves only need to stand near you to steal your money
You know the feeling when you’re walking through the gates at the station and every tap is a reminder that you’re being robbed blind? Turns out you shouldn’t be worried about the TFL, it’s your fellow commuters to be wary of.
Pick-pocketers are the reason every tourist clings to their backpack as a lifeline while they snigger at Cockfosters on the tannoy, but it appears criminals have caught up with the times.
Gone are the days a petty criminal will swipe your entire bag as he runs off the tube. There’s probably nothing in there. Contactless cards overtook cash and coins last year, so there’s no need for nimble fingers nor fox-like craft. Just an off-the-shelf card reader.
Normal citizen, Paul Jarvis, snapped a photo of a man holding a card reader and said:
“So this guy was spotted wandering round with a Point of Sale (POS) device. All he has to do is key in a price less than £30 and then touch the device on the pocket that contains your wallet.”
"Ching! You've just been charged automatically on your touch pay enabled credit/debit card.... We just tried this in my local pub with their POS device and it worked...
"(I've actually shown people this using the NFC function on my mobile to read their card data through their wallet to freak them out but this is the first time I've seen someone doing it for real). Time to invest in a screened wallet I guess..."
Screened wallets may not be the answer, just an eager eye for someone carrying your local offie’s payment system and punching in numbers while on public transport.