Simple RFID Blocking Wallet

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This instructable is for how to make a very simple yet effective RFID-blocking pouch using materials you already have at home.

In the last few years, there has been a rise in crime involving people going around with RFID readers and stealing people's credit card information without the victims even realizing it. Having an RFID-blocking wallet is the simplest and most effective measure to prevent this from happening to you.

RFID (Radio Frequency ID) is a technology that allows a reader to get an identification from a passive device by reading the device-specific response to a band of radio frequencies. Just by being near the reader, a device with an RFID tag or chip can be read wirelessly and instantly. The advantage of this is convenience. For example, you can now pay the bus fare by tapping a pre-loaded card on an RFID reader when you step on the bus. Many credit cards now have the ability to pay by tapping on an RFID reader -- no swiping or inserting necessary. The disadvantage of this is how conveniently easy it is for thieves to get your credit card information (or more). And worse, they can do it right in front of you and you won't even realize it!

Luckily, you can protect yourself in minutes by making yourself a simple RFID-Blocking Wallet!

(NOTE: I have tested this using my RFID bus pass on the bus, and verified that the RFID reader was not able to read the card while it was inside this pouch. It worked exactly as intended.)

Supplies:

Step 1: Materials

All you need is:

  • Duct Tape
  • Clear Packing Tape
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Scissors

(The important part is the Aluminum Foil -- its purpose is to create a sort of Faraday Cage around the finished pouch, which blocks / attenuates any electromagnetic signals (i.e. RF signals) coming from outside the pouch.)

Step 2: Duct Tape

Lay down duct tape so that the strips overlap slightly and create a sheet. Make this larger than you will need the finished pouch to be.

Step 3: Aluminum Foil

Lay the aluminum foil [carefully] onto your duct tape sheet. The aluminum foil should lay flat for best results.

Step 4: Packing Tape

The final layer of the material is the clear packing tape. This protects the aluminum foil and prevents the metal from touching the chips on credit cards.

Lay the clear packing tape onto the aluminum foil side. Like you did the duct tape, overlap the strips slightly. Cover the entire area that has duct tape on the opposite side.

Step 5: Cut to Size

Trim away the edges to create a rectangle. Then, using a credit-card-sized card, cut the material so that it will be just larger than a credit card when folded in half.

Step 6: Tape Edges

Finally, to close the pouch, duct tape the edges and trim the excess away.

Step 7: Done!

You're done! Put your credit/debit cards in here, and if you'd like put it in your wallet. Now your cards are safe from thieves who use RFID scanners to steal credit card info.

(Although the one I made worked, please make sure to try out your own pouch before trusting your cards in it!)

I hope you found this instructable useful! If you have any other ideas or modifications from this, please post them in the comments, I'd love to hear them!

5 People Made This Project!

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105 Discussions

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mikey51

10 months ago

I recently bought that copper mat for BBQ grills and was wondering if that type of woven copper sheet would also work?

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kgklinkelmikey51

Reply 10 months ago

Theoretically woven copper should work, since the weaves are smaller than the wavelength, but I can't say for sure. Make one and try it out, because now I'm curious!

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Captain Nemo1kgklinkel

Reply 4 months ago

I use a woven copper fabric manufactured especially for this application. It can be purchased online.

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SunilN19mikey51

Reply 5 months ago

Sss , very good thouight , It does . Cheers mate.

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syfrmikey51

Reply 5 months ago

If the openings are less than 1/10th the wavelength of the offending RF, yes, it should work fine.

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Captain Nemo1

Tip 4 months ago on Introduction

A nice inexpensive job...

I've made similar faraday card wallets using copper cloth, cell phone holders, and passport holders. I have ocassionaly experienced 'leakage' with the cell phone when the shielding doesn't wrap around the seams or have a flap. Just to be on the safe side, I now do the same with all my Faraday cages.

Cheers

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Disasterific

Question 5 months ago

Do you happen to know what happens if the foil touches the chip on your card

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jeggeling1978Disasterific

Answer 5 months ago

I Assume you mean the chip on your card....not car.
There is no need to worry as all cards are known as passive RFID devices.
there is no power in a card so there is nothing to short.

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TonK5jeggeling1978

Reply 4 months ago

There is one exception and that is when a static charge i.e from your hand gets transferred to the chip contacts, this may cause malfunction of the chip. So, putting a large metal object next to the chip without isolation may not be such a good idea.
if i remeber right, my bank told me not to touch the contacts....

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eugeneo8

Question 5 months ago on Step 3

  • Aluminum Foil - what side must be on the outside - the dull or shinny side
3 answers
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JohnH973eugeneo8

Answer 5 months ago

It depends on whic direction the RFID reader is pointing...

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eugeneo8JohnH973

Reply 5 months ago

When I want to make this wallet and put the foil down it has a shinny and a dull side. When I fold the foil must which side must be inside the wallet

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SunilN19

5 months ago on Introduction

So simple , yet very good idea mate . Good on you . Cheers buddy ..... :)

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ecoot1012

5 months ago

I used Metalized mylar and tested it by putting a radio inside the bag. No radio station got through. I lined my wallet with the mylar.

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JohnH973Disasterific

Reply 5 months ago

I think the 'foil' chip packets are metallised Mylar, though I'm not absolutely sure..

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Ntamm3

5 months ago

Very nice idea.
BTW that's my library card - CO!

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Valvelifter

5 months ago

I routinely disable contactless payment on all new credit and debit cards by drilling a 3mm hole through the embedded antenna wire which you can see by shining a strong light through the card.