In: Identity Theft News

COVID 19 crime on the rise


  • COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise and has changed the way we live
  • Many people have lost their jobs and businesses are struggling
  • Unfortunately, in times like this, we see an increase in crime
  • It’s more important than ever to stay safe, be vigilant online and ensure your personal data is protected from criminals when you do leave the house

Read full article below

COVID 19 crime on the rise

It is not a fun time to be reading mainstream media or listening to the news. The world as we know it has changed dramatically and we are all playing catch up. As our focus is security and helping our customers stay safe we have been playing close attention to the media reports of increased crime.

Cyber-crime is a major area of concern with those self-isolating at home online and vulnerable to scams, particularly the elderly. A further concern is criminals posing as medical practitioners requesting, and gaining, access to personal medical data. The strong message is to stay alert and protect your personal information at all times.

Here we share a few short excerpts from a broad range of media outlets:

”A laid-off worker has incentives to shift the use of time toward illicit earnings opportunities since displacements reduce legal earnings opportunities. At the same time, dismissals lessen the opportunity cost of a worker’s time during the period of unemployment.”
“The old adage that idle hands are the devil’s workshop appears to have some truth to it,” said Votruba. “This unfortunate link (to weekday crimes) highlights the importance of psychological factors–such as mental distress, self-control, financial concerns and frustration–in determining counterproductive behavior.” story coronavirus layoffs crime Dated: 16/03/2020

Hover over image to reveal more

Criminals taking advantage of coronavirus anxiety

COVID-19 fraud schemes*

  • Telephone fraud – criminals call victims pretending to be clinic or hospital officials, who claim that a relative of the victim has fallen sick with the virus and request payments for medical treatment;
  • Card skimming – When you do go out to get supplies ensure your ‘contactless’ credit cards are secure as criminals and opportunistic people are utilising this technology to skim your card details. This crime has become even easier for everyday people to undertake with the emergence of NFC smartphones and a host of free card reading apps found online.
  • Phishing – emails claiming to be from national or global health authorities, with the aim of tricking victims to provide personal credentials or payment details, or to open an attachment containing malware.


^Excerpt marketwatch story

“Everyday life has essentially stopped in many countries in a bid to slow the virus, and some crimes have been declining. But reports of virus-related fraud are on the rise, along with concerns about hate crimes.”

The United Kingdom’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received more than 100 reports of virus-related scams, with losses totalling more than $1.1 million (970,000 pounds).

Meanwhile, marketing schemers have quickly pivoted to offering “senior care packages” that include hand sanitizer or even a purported vaccine, which doesn’t exist. Some falsely claim that Trump has ordered that seniors get tested.

It’s all a trick to get personal information that can be used to bill federal and state health programs, health officials said.

“It’s a straight-up ruse to get your Medicare number or your Social Security number under the guise of having a test kit or a sanitary kit sent to you,” Christian Schrank, assistant inspector general for investigations at Health and Human Services.”

^ story coronavirus related crimes are on the rise dated: 2020-03-25

“According to a new study of 1 million laid-off Norwegians^^ over 15 years, out-of-work people commit 60% more property crimes (such as theft, shoplifting, burglary, and vandalism) in the year after losing work and have 20% more criminal charges than when employed.++”

^^ research article

So consider these questions:

  • When people lose their paychecks, do they turn to crime more often?
  • When people are at home more, does that deter crime?
  • Will crime rates fall when police aren’t charging criminals the same way they used to?

++ article ‘how will corona virus related closures and quarantines affect crime rates’

Armourcard International will continue to keep you updated on the latest security concerns so you are protected throughout this crisis. Don’t forget to keep your wallet protected with an Armourcard when you leave the house.
Stay Safe.

Protect yourself from identity theft

What are the best ways to prevent identity theft?

Here are 10 top tips to help protect yourself from identity theft

At ARMOURCARD we are often asked what can I do to minimise the risk of my personal data being compromised.

So we have compiled a list of the 10 top ways to protect yourself. (for the detailed list go here)

  1. Shred itlike you mean too

  2. Stash it keep your receipts when out then shred it when home

  3. Lock it up mailboxes, filing cabinets, phones

  4. Financial diligencecheck your statements and all correspondence

  5. Protect itePickpocketing

  6. Check-upskeep up to date credit checks

  7. Red Flagslook out for any unusual activity

  8. Freeze itinstall a freeze on your credit

  9. Opt-out of pre-approved credit offers

  10. Password Savvyuse different passwords

It’s often easy to forget just how easy your identity can be stolen especially in the technical age in-which we are living. By taking several steps and making them routine you will help greatly reduce your chances of having your identity stolen.

To find more about what each one of the 10 Tips means and how you can implement it go here

RFID Protective cards – understand the difference before you buy.

Over the past few months it has come to our attention that consumers are judging the effectiveness of the RFID protective cards they are purchasing against retail point of sale terminals.

Based on this method of testing these RFID Protective cards give the appearance of being very effective at blocking a transaction being processed and have received a number of very positive reviews.

Standard off the shelf NFC / RFID reader that can be easily purchased online for under $100

Standard off the shelf NFC / RFID reader that can be easily purchased online for under $100

The truth is that if you place two PayPass cards together and present them to a retail (tap & go) terminal the transaction will NOT go through. This is so the consumer can make the decision of which card they wish to present to the terminal. Don’t be fooled though, any standard reader (like the one in the image to the right) that can be purchased online will not give you this option and will take the information off the first card that responds to its requests. These readers have anti-collision software so it does not matter how many cards are being interrogated it will always get at least one.

The criminals who perpetrate this electronic pickpocket crime would rarely use a retail style (tap & go) terminal to skim, they are more likely to use a standard off the shelf reader and ‘amp up’ the antenna and signal strength.

The way in which some of these cards are marketed and the terms that they use to boost the hype imply that the cards are loaded with top secret and patented technology some even drop names such as “NASA”  to increase their worth.

The truth is actually quite different. Often a standard programable RFID card worth about $0.75 is programmed with essentially garbage in an attempt to confuse the terminal which is trying to interrogate it. This has been shown to be inconsistent in its protective ability and thus cannot reliably support the claims that are being made.

As there is no regulatory body governing the standards of products in this field, it has been left open for anybody to jump on board and try to make a quick dollar. The few companies that have invested significantly in research and development to effectively protect the consumer have been left trying to defend and differentiate their products from those who have clearly blurred the lines and cannot support or prove the claims that are being made. The sooner this industry can be regulated the better.

Where does this leave you? the best advice is to research the product you are considering purchasing.

If it claims to Jam does it have FCC approval?

If it claims to have patented technology is there a reference to a patent? (don’t be fooled by a ™ next to a word, that does not constitute a patent but merely a logo or term being trademarked)

If it claims to be active does it have a battery?

As a consumer you must do your research and due diligence until there is a regulatory body who can help govern the claims being made. Protecting your identity from theft is a serious business and you should only look for companies and products who are serious about protecting your data & not who just want to jump on the band wagon for a quick dollar.

The decision is ultimately yours as to how much worth protecting your personal data is to you.

Beware, Be Aware and Stay Vigilant.

Armourcard has a stand at CES 2016 (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas January 6th – 9th

We are very excited to be present with a stand at CES 2016 this coming January.  You will be able to come say hello to the inventors and founders plus see the Armourcard product for US launch.

You will also be privy to a new Armourcard product for the protection of NFC enabled smartphones & tablets to be released soon.

Our stand will located in the Personal & Cyber Security marketplace so if you are lucky enough to be going come by and see us.

Screen-Shot-2015-12-22-at-2.22.55-PMBooth number: 21931
Venue: LVCC South 1
Marketplace: Personal & Cyber Security

For media opportunities please contact Tyler Harris [email protected]

To arrange times to discuss US sales opportunities please contact Tyler [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you in Vegas.


Armourcard review by APC magazine

APC or Australian Personal Computing has featured Armourcard in a recent article on travel goods and travel essentials.

Lindsay Handmer one of the journalists at APC reviewed Armourcard and tested and gave a very good review of 4 stars.

(in-fact no product got a higher score from all the products reviewed.)

Next time you travel the article that reviews Armourcard as an essential travel good to take with you, especially with ePassports, tap & go credit / debit cards and many hotel keys able to be skimmed.

Don’t travel without one, the Armourcard reviews say.

To read the full review Read APC article

PRESS Release: SYDNEY – 10TH JUNE 2015 –

‘Tap and Gone’ – Electronic Pickpockets costing Aussies up to $439m

ARMOURCARD, an Australian company dedicated to the prevention of wireless skimming, has revealed Aussies could be losing as much as $439 million a year to ‘Electronic Pickpockets’, following a study into the extent of the criminal activity.

The survey revealed that one in seven Australians (14%) have either been affected themselves or know someone that has been a victim of electronic skimming – a type of credit card fraud, where criminals extract your card details using RFID or NFC technologies.

The report also found a fifth of Aussies (20%) are completely unaware this crime exists.

Tyler Harris, Co-Founder and Director at AMOURCARD, believes that things will only get worse for consumers, if we don’t address this issue proactively.

“Wireless technologies, such as ‘Tap and Go’, have made life easier for shoppers and retailers. However, the same technology has become a target for criminals looking to exploit it for personal gain,” said Harris.

“Anyone with a NFC enabled smartphone can download any number of free apps which turn their phone into a device capable of retrieving personal information and data from ‘tap and go’ cards and ePassports. It is an invisible crime that often goes unnoticed until it is too late.”

The study also revealed the true extent of the crime could be even greater, with Aussie not knowing they have been robbed. Over half (51%) of Australians admitted they wouldn’t notice if small amounts of money went missing from their accounts, with the average Australian adult able to lose $28.49 without noticing. This equates to a potential loot of $519M available to criminals.

“The threat of being robbed $20, $30 or even $100 often isn’t at the top of our minds, but we are all aware that it happens. What is surprising is this is only the tip of the iceberg and consumers are yet to see the threat that lurks below the waterline,” added Harris.

As more items become RFID or NFC enabled – such as Social Security cards, medical cards, library cards, driver’s licenses and national identity cards – the likelihood of being skimmed will increase. These cards contain a lot of personal information and data, which hackers can exploit. This stolen information aids criminals in the profiling of individuals and can lead to identity theft as well as fraudulent fiscal gain.

“We’ve looked at this technology being rolled out across the globe and have found that personal information, such as your name, age, date of birth and address can easily be attached to the RFID or NFC microchips. Access to this information will only aid criminals in stealing your identity. Until the technology is proved 100% safe it only makes sense to protect yourself,” concluded Harris.

iTwire asks Armourcard about electronic pickpockets and wireless skimming and what you need to know

AlexIn a recent video interview and story by Alex Zaharov-Reutt from iTwire and our CEO Tyler Harris whereby they candidly discuss and help consumers understand a little more about the vulnerabilities around this RFID technology roll-out and how to best protect yourself.

In the interview, Harris talks about the history of RFID from its origins as a ‘SpyTool’ from the cold war to current day and future applications that will be coming to a wallet near you soon.

If you know nothing about this technology this interview is a great place to start understanding what you can do to protect yourself.

Thanks, Alex from iTwire for taking the time with Tyler and supporting our Australian invention we really appreciate both yours and iTwire support.

IT-Wire-logoTo also read the full story on iTwire please go here

Travel Weekly Magazine and Website “Why Travel Insurance Won’t Protect Your Cards” 

A great article was written by HANNAH EDENSOR of Travel Weekly Magazine who recently interviewed our CEO Tyler Harris on the emergence of this new form of crime and how best to protect your credit cards and passport while your traveling.

Travel Weekly the highly respected travel magazine has spoken with Armourcard CEO Tyler Harris about how to best protect yourself while traveling from the new wave of skimming crime that can now lift your ePassports, credit cards and even hotel keys without you ever knowing.

Harris goes on to say

… its never been easier for organised criminals or even opportunitistic low level criminals to get your valued personal data, not just your credit card numbers but more importantly information that can lead to your identity being used for the means of identity theft.

Harris continues

… we believe that as a first lline of defence when traveling we need to start to take control of protecting our personal data, the hassle of being skimmed then trying to prove that to a financial insitution that the freud happened on the very least is time consuming and big hassle especially whilst traveling abroad.

Travel Weekly likes to help and give great advice to consumers about all things traveling this includes great destination articles, travel tips, and even some travel hacks from what to pack to how to spot a travel scam. We at Armourcard enjoyed our time chatting with them and them showcasing Armourcard to there readerships

Thanks to Travel Weekly Magazine for your support.

read the full article here on Travel Weekly Magazine

Identity Theft on the rise in Australia.

A recent report that has been released in Australia shows that we are NOT immune to the global increase in identity theft, in-fact Australians are pretty soft targets.

It will never happen to me

The reasons for this rang from the attitude “it will never happen to me” to just being lackluster about basic security of your personal details, from securing your mail box to shredding your bank statements to even being on the look out for skimmers that skim your data, Australian’s are too laid back with their personal data & are easy targets for Identity theft or credit theft.

Veda, credit information company analysed $1.6 trillion worth of credit applications in the year to June 30 and found that $1.9 billion worth of those applications posed fraud risks.

1.9 Billion worth fraud risks

Veda’s general manager of fraud and identity solutions Imelda Newton said

“Identity theft was the fastest growing form of credit application fraud, as fraudsters continuously change their tactics.

What we’ve found is that the fraudsters have adopted using stolen identities as opposed to using fictitious identities,” Ms Newton said.

“In fact, over the past year, we’ve seen the use of those stolen identities increase 103 per cent.”

The information can be collected by fraudsters breaking into people’s homes, taking mail from their letterboxes or stealing wallets and handbags or even being wirelessly skimmed.

103% increase in the past year.

The fraudster then assumes the victim’s identity and applies for credit in their name. You can guarantee the financial institutions will not cover the fraud on that type of crime against your name.

Start to take back control of your identity data. It starts with an Armourcard.


BUY an Armourcard Today!


Identity theft prevention with Armourcard

You may also like to read this article.

‘Tap and Gone’ – Electronic Pickpockets costing Aussies up to $439m


When does a simple pleasure like a hug turn into a world of identity theft pain.

There is a new wave of identity theft wireless skimming hitting the streets, the perpetrators don’t even need to boost a RFID readers signal strength. They simply ask for a hug.! That’s right a nice heart warming hug can now get your credit card data skimmed.
It’s been reported by WXIA-TV in the USA that this crime is happening and preying on the good will of people.
In other reports this simple yet effective means to wirelessly skim your data can easily be cloaked by other alternative means like posing as a street charity worker collecting funds or someone who needs assistance on the side of the road changing a tyre.
What a thought that now even the humble feel good hug can be used to wirelessly skim your identity data.
Why not put an Armourcard in your wallet so hugging can still be a warm, fuzzy & safe thing to still do. Don’t let the criminals deny us this simple pleasure as well.

BUY NOW & Keep hugging