A couple weeks ago, I purchased online the Armadillo Dollar "skimming" shield product. I ordered two shields and both arrived in separate business-size envelopes within a larger U.S.P.S. Express Mail package. Each envelope included a shield and instructions. That makes it easy to give the second shield as a gift.
I opened one envelope and read the instructions, which were clear and simple. The instructions said that you could place the Armadillo Dollar product in your wallet to protect multiple RFID cards, often referred to as "smart cards" or contact-less credit cards. I folded one Armadillo Dollar product in half, placed two contact-less smart cards inside, and then placed the bundle in my pants pocket. I don't want to open my wallet every time I need to use one of my RFID cards. I planned to test Armadillo Dollar the next day on the way to work.
One the way to work the next morning, I pulled the Armadillo Dollar and my RFID cards out of my pocket and waived them near an RFID reader at a Boston MBTA station entrance. Nothing happened: the turnstile did not open. The RFID reader was unable to penetrate the Armadillo Dollar shield. Great! Then, I removed my MBTA Charlie Card by itself and waved it by the station's reader. The turnstile opened as usual.
At work, I repeated this process at the the downtown-Boston office where I work. Employees use RFID badges to access both the building elevators and individual company offices. As expected, the RFID reader was unable to penetrate the Armadillo Dollar shield. I then removed my employee badge by itself and waved it the RFID reader. The turnstile opened as expected.
While this isn't a scientific test, it is good enough for me. The product works as advertised... RFID readers couldn't penetrate the Armadillo Dollar shield. Wisteria House fulfilled my product order as requested, and applied the product discount as promised. I am satisfied since I now have some identity protection for my RFID cards. When I receive my new RFID U.S. Passport, I'll repeat this test with the Armadillo Dollar shield.
Want to learn more? This video provides some background about RFID or smart cards and "skimming"... how an identity thieve can clone a smart card:
Want to learn more? Read this New York Times article about no-swipe credit cards, or this C/Net Review about contact-less credit cards. You can also visit the Smart Card Alliance, armadillodollar.com, or the National Envelope web sites.
[Author's note: you can rely on I've Been Mugged for independent product reviews. The I've Been Mugged blog is wholly independent, and is not affiliated with any identity theft or identity protection products. Nor do we accept any advertising or payments from manufacturers of identity theft products or services.]