By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Whether you’re waiting on a bus or just strolling around the city, you’re purse or wallet is usually within reach. It’s also within reach of criminals snatching your information without you even knowing it.

“You want to say it’s like science fiction, but it’s frightening,” said Jackie Baker.

It’s not fiction but very much a fact and it all centers around radio frequency identification technology or RFID.

You’ll find it in everything from passports, to credit, and debit cards.

Walt Augustinowicz shows how easily your information is grabbed in this demonstration armed with a Netbook computer and a credit card reader that can be bought for as little as 10 bucks online.

“One can get credit card information by simply walking up to them, activating the RFID chip,” said Augustinowicz.

Victor Salechov with Philly Spy Shop says the computerized RFID system isn’t new and is often used by stores to keep track of inventory and it’s even used by the federal government.

“The Department of Defense is actually using this RFID technology to keep track of their incoming and outgoing shipments,” said Salechov.

Augustinowicz markets secure sleeves, and I.D. holders meant to block RFID hacking. other than buying one of these, there’s another way of protecting yourself.

“The easiest way to protect yourself would be to wrap your credit card in aluminum foil.” Said Salechov.

Even that doesn’t allay fears of unsuspecting victim’s who now know they could fall prey to electronic pickpocketing.”

“It’s kind of scary that technology has advanced so much that somebody can stand right next to you and steal your information. That’s scary,” said Anthony Massuci.

For more information on RFID Technology and how it relates to your credit card company, visit

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Reported by Natasha Brown, CBS 3

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