SAN ANTONIO -- Thieves are pocketing your credit and debit card information by simply walking past you. An advocate for identity theft showed us how criminals are "crowd-hacking" across the country.
Chris Gilpin, an advocate against identify theft, tells KVUE's sister station KENS 5 that hackers use a device easily purchased online. The equipment picks up the radio frequency identification chip inside of your card.
"That scanner sends out a signal, that signal actually powers up your debit card and credit card and responds to that signal," said Gilpin.
Gilpin walked through a mall and in one hour, the device picked up 38 debit card numbers.
"For a hacker? That's several thousands dollars easily," said Gilpin.
Data breaches like "crowd-hacking" was on the forefront of a hearing on Wednesday with the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Service Committee.
Members are asking if Congress should require banks to adopt credit card security measures used in other countries such as with Europe's Smart Cards.
The account information is encrypted and transactions cannot be authorized without an additional pin code. Gilpin says the U.S. is hesitant to transition to Smart Cards because it costs more for banks in the end.
"It's costing banks $5.15 per card they're replacing," said Gilpin.
Gilpin believes Smart Cards would make it harder for criminals to clone the cards. As the debate intensifies on Capitol Hill to strengthen security measures, Gilpin is offering a solution cardholders can use now to protect your account.
SignalVault is a card that scrambles device from reading your information. A single SignalVault card can be placed in a wallet and protects all your cards. It can only be purchased online. Click here for more information.