Joe Pisani chats about protecting his credit cards

Joe Pisani bemoans the endless cycle of shoveling snow.

Joe Pisani bemoans the endless cycle of shoveling snow.

Joe Pisani /

I want all the larcenists out there to know I bought an “RFID blocking” wallet, so don’t try anything underhanded. No high-tech pickpocketing permitted.

You’re probably wondering what an “RFID blocking” wallet is. So am I. When I got it, at first I thought the manufacturer mixed up the letters and it was FDR’s wallet.

This is a special 21st-century product that comes with a secret decoder ring and a special notice to the proud owner that says something like “Attention, Earthling. Greetings from exoplanet Proxima Centauri b. This wallet prevents the theft of valuable data from microchips by Bill Gates.”

I said to myself, “Hmmm, you learn something new every day. Now what the @$&*%*! Being a trained professional journalist, I wanted to get the facts straight — no snickering, please — so I turned to the most reliable source of information in the known and unknown universe, Wikipedia, which explained it something along these lines: The acronym RFID stands for “radio-frequency identification.” If thieves are near you, they may try to steal information from your credit cards that have an embedded RFID chip. However, the wallet blocks them from scanning your cards with their ray guns.

RFID protection, for those of you without a science background, is sort of a force field around your wallet — the kind they used in that 1950s science fiction movie Forbidden Planet, which was later adopted by President Ronald Reagan for his Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative, designed to protect America from potential missile attacks from Russia and China, even though we would have been better off with a force field to protect us from COVID-19.

When I activate this special feature through a secret button in my trousers, a force field immediately surrounds me, my wallet and my credit cards. I’m especially concerned about protecting my membership card to Ocean State Job Lot’s Insider Club. It gives me first dibs on Ocean State’s weekly special, which is a revolving, vibrating lounge chair with strobe lights and a sushi bar.

I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even know RFID protection existed. At first, I assumed the wallet gave an electric shock to a would-be pickpocket. Or that it provided a credit protection plan so flimflam artists couldn’t use my Visa card, with a 19 percent interest rate, to run up thousands of dollars in electronics purchases on Amazon, thereby helping Jeff Bezos become the world’s first trillionaire.

Actually, I want to protect my wallet from Jeff Bezos and people like him. The thing about trillionaires and billionaires aspiring to be trillionaires, such as Bill Gates and George Soros, is they get their kicks by using their money to tell other people how to live.

In these troubled times, we need to protect our valuables and our loved ones.

I encourage all of you to purchase an RFID protection plan for your wallets, your pets, your mailboxes and your phones because we live in a world where there are con-artists around every corner. They’ll try to lure you with scam phone calls and emails with tempting offers that say, “Dearest, please send your retirement savings to this bank account number so you can help people who have less than you but want the little you have. Have a great day.” The first thing you should know about preventing scams is NEVER open an email that begins, “Dearest.”

My one concern is that if I take this wallet through the metal detector and X-ray machine at airport security, alarms will start beeping, buzzing and flashing, and then a contingent of airport security professionals led by James Comey will descend on me faster than if Donald Trump tried to book a flight to Moscow. I better play it safe. Maybe I’ll leave my wallet home, forget the airport and take a train.

Of course, there’s another, simpler solution. I could get rid of my credit cards. That way I’ll avoid credit card theft, not to mention credit card debt and 19 percent interest rates. Problem solved.

Joe Pisani can be reached at