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Food for thought when shipping coins.

Downtown1974Downtown1974 Posts: 6,713 ✭✭✭✭✭

Let me preface this by saying I am a huge advocate of the new NFC technology PCGS uses in their current slabs. I believe it to be the pinnacle in TPG services. With that said, I’d like to share something that happened today. I also brought up a similar situation about a year ago but felt that it fell on deaf ears.

While at the post office today, I was in line awaiting my turn with my parcel in my hand. The parcel was a small flat rate box which contained 2 PCGS coins. Both of these coins had the NFC chip embedded in the slab label. While I was waiting, I feel my phone (which was in my front pocket) vibrate which indicated I had an alert. I reached in and pulled out my phone to find that the alert was PCGS asking if I wanted to view the coins in the app? The phone in my pocket was able to sense the NFC chip of the coins inside my well packed parcel. So upon opening the app, there on my screen was the coins along with the TrueViews and all of the info about the coins including PCGS guide value.

I emailed PCGS about this the last time it happened. I don’t remember hearing back about it.

The slabbed coins shipped today were in sleeves, then placed in Intercept Shield holders, then in another sleeve. Then they were wrapped in packing paper and boxed with tape. Maybe wrapping them in aluminum foil could “jam” the signal of the chip during the shipping process?….I don’t know.

Just want to raise awareness that the contents of your packaged coins could be revealed during transit even if there is no malicious act intended.

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Comments

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sometimes, I'm happy I don't deal with slabbed coins all that much.

    This is one of those times. ;)

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,916 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Scary...but how many times has this happened to you? And how many random package thieves have the pcgs app(or other nfc readers) constantly on before they steal packages?

    No way to tell for sure but I would guess not many. This is low on my list of concerns.

  • DollarAfterDollarDollarAfterDollar Posts: 3,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think you're right. The only barrier might be to wrap shipped coins in slabs with aluminum foil.

    If you do what you always did, you get what you always got.
  • Downtown1974Downtown1974 Posts: 6,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 21, 2022 5:34PM

    @lermish said:
    Scary...but how many times has this happened to you? And how many random package thieves have the pcgs app(or other nfc readers) constantly on before they steal packages?

    No way to tell for sure but I would guess not many. This is low on my list of concerns.

    This has only happened to me twice and I must admit, after it happened I did try to replicate the scenario again and I couldn’t do it. But to your point…the first time it happened, it was on my wife’s phone and she has zero interest at all in coins, therefore never had the app.

    Edited to add, this is low on my list of concerns as well, but it’s a vulnerability that I thought we should be aware of.
    I didn’t have the app open. I wasn’t even on my phone. It was in my pocket. Just the proximity of the package to my phone set it off.

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If eBay was responsible for the NFC chip, would that change your opinion? >:)

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,681 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Downtown1974 said:
    ...
    Maybe wrapping them in aluminum foil could “jam” the signal of the chip during the shipping process?….I don’t know.

    Try it and let us know.

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,916 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:
    It's not just for hats anymore. :)

    Check your fillings! 😂

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The ordinary NFC antenna such as your phone has probably can't read much beyond 2-3 inches. An amplified antenna can be constructed that fits in a backpack to read at least 70cm (27.5) away. If you wanted to construct a fixed unit tuned for just the frequency of the tag, who knows...

    Years ago I was at a preso from the local tollway. The presenter said they had somebody blow through the plaza at 135mph and they got seven clean reads on his tag.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Downtown1974 said:
    Just want to raise awareness that the contents of your packaged coins could be revealed during transit even if there is no malicious act intended.

    .
    weird. i have a couple dozen coin apps including the pcgs my account app AND i have some chip holders but nothing happens when they are near my phone when i'm logged into the app. they are coins i subbed so no probs there.

    do you have any chip slabs you didn't sub yourself?

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Glad I don't own a phone.................oh crap, I own coins with chips, though. ugh.

    bob :)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
  • MS66MS66 Posts: 200 ✭✭✭

    @AUandAG said:
    Glad I don't own a phone..........

    That's incredible. How do you communicate with people who aren't within shouting distance? No one answers email anymore..

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I first got my hands on one, I posted what was on the NFC chip...

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/12558059/#Comment_12558059

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MS66 said:

    @AUandAG said:
    Glad I don't own a phone..........

    That's incredible. How do you communicate with people who aren't within shouting distance? No one answers email anymore..

    It is a problem. People try to text me all the time and I'm on a desk top using my email to communicate. I have, for quite a while now, added my "home phone number to my emails" but that doesn't work either. People don't seem to read more than one line it appears. Or they can't read. My world is obviously a far slower pace than yours and that's not a bad thing.
    I don't have my boss texting me, clients texting me, or random shit calling. I'm okay with that. My kids want me to get one for emergencies. Why? If I have an emergency hopefully there will be someone around and surely they will have a phone I can borrow or they can use.
    bob :)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
  • stawickstawick Posts: 469 ✭✭✭✭

    @AUandAG said:

    @MS66 said:

    @AUandAG said:
    Glad I don't own a phone..........

    That's incredible. How do you communicate with people who aren't within shouting distance? No one answers email anymore..

    It is a problem. People try to text me all the time and I'm on a desk top using my email to communicate. I have, for quite a while now, added my "home phone number to my emails" but that doesn't work either. People don't seem to read more than one line it appears. Or they can't read. My world is obviously a far slower pace than yours and that's not a bad thing.
    I don't have my boss texting me, clients texting me, or random shit calling. I'm okay with that. My kids want me to get one for emergencies. Why? If I have an emergency hopefully there will be someone around and surely they will have a phone I can borrow or they can use.
    bob :)

    1 of us. 1 of us. 1 of us. :D
    I'm a home phone and email person (so far) myself. I'm gettin by OK. I admit, woulda come in handy a time or 2 tho. ;)

  • savoyspecialsavoyspecial Posts: 7,268 ✭✭✭✭

    AUandAG sent you a fax and never heard back

    www.brunkauctions.com

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:
    If eBay was responsible for the NFC chip, would that change your opinion? >:)

    Ebay is probably the one signaling the thieves. I bet Ebay even steals them to enhance their revenue.

  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @savoyspecial said:
    AUandAG sent you a fax and never heard back

    I don't even understand this.
    bob :)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
  • MS66MS66 Posts: 200 ✭✭✭

    @AUandAG said:

    @MS66 said:

    @AUandAG said:
    Glad I don't own a phone..........

    That's incredible. How do you communicate with people who aren't within shouting distance? No one answers email anymore..

    It is a problem. People try to text me all the time and I'm on a desk top using my email to communicate. I have, for quite a while now, added my "home phone number to my emails" but that doesn't work either. People don't seem to read more than one line it appears. Or they can't read. My world is obviously a far slower pace than yours and that's not a bad thing.

    Right, and I admire your slow pace of life. I would seriously like that.

    Notwithstanding that, you can get a free Google Voice number and use it to send and receive texts from your desktop or laptop.

    The trouble with that is that people will assume it's a cell phone and that you can respond wherever you are.

    You can port the GV to your cell phone but I think I've just lost the audience here.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,736 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @savoyspecial said:
    AUandAG sent you a fax and never heard back

    Maybe next time try sending a telegram. :)

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,736 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In regard to the issue raised in the original post, this is potentially an enormous problem.

    Even if a random package is relatively safe from being identified by a thief in this way, think about high concentrations of slabbed coins being shipped, such as from PCGS or a major coin dealer. It's only a matter of time before a crime ring discovers and focuses on this "opportunity".

  • MS66MS66 Posts: 200 ✭✭✭

    I'd just like a way to get proof of shipping without waiting in line at the post office.

    Well, I guess there's FedEx (no line usually) but nothing really proves what you have put in the package anyway, does it.

    Even Registered Mail doesn't do that, does it?

  • oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,892 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Scary stuff. I am going to utilize the foil wrap on my next submission of variety attributions.

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

    BST transactions: dbldie55, jayPem, 78saen, UltraHighRelief, nibanny, liefgold, FallGuy, lkeigwin, mbogoman, Sandman70gt, keets, joeykoins, ianrussell (@GC), EagleEye, ThePennyLady, GRANDAM, Ilikecolor, Gluggo, okiedude, Voyageur, LJenkins11, fastfreddie, ms70, pursuitofliberty, ZoidMeister,Coin Finder, GotTheBug, edwardjulio, Coinnmore...
  • Pnies20Pnies20 Posts: 2,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That’s interesting to take into account when shipping

    But that’s a very specific thing for someone to be looking for. The average person wouldn’t be attempting that. I think it would be very rare that someone would find your coins that way.

    There is also faraday technology that could be used for shipping if you have to ship high value coins it may be worth it to look into.

    BHNC #248 … 108 and counting.

  • No different than walking thru a mall with your active credit card beaming from back pocket or purse.

    We live where there is no internet or wi-fi yet. No TV cable and too far to pick up free TV since they went digital. Before digital we got 3 stations most of the time.

    Still waiting for the dudes in the white truck with the ladders on top to arrive down our road.

    But the post office has internet so guess we better not mail any coins.

    Most accidents happen within 20 miles of home so guess we better move 29-30 miles where there might be internet. Less accidents that way.

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No different than walking thru a mall with your active credit card beaming from back pocket or purse.

    The NFC chip in the PCGS holder and the NFC Chip in your credit card are very, very similar. Both combine an antenna and a chip. When the antenna receives sufficient energy, it enables the chip to transmit.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,670 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yup, A little homemade Faraday baggie should be used. You know the bad guys are gonna be locating the NFC chip thru the packaging and poof! It's gone. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

  • Downtown1974Downtown1974 Posts: 6,713 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Custerlost said:
    No different than walking thru a mall with your active credit card beaming from back pocket or purse.

    We live where there is no internet or wi-fi yet. No TV cable and too far to pick up free TV since they went digital. Before digital we got 3 stations most of the time.

    Still waiting for the dudes in the white truck with the ladders on top to arrive down our road.

    But the post office has internet so guess we better not mail any coins.

    Most accidents happen within 20 miles of home so guess we better move 29-30 miles where there might be internet. Less accidents that way.

    The intent of the post was to raise awareness to fellow collectors…as you can read in my original, unedited post at the top. It wasn’t to instill fear in anybody. Now, what one chooses to do with that information is up to the individual.

  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    since my new bank card is a "tapper" i started watching some vids about how to prevent someone with a scanning device from just walking close by me and nabbing whatever may be able to be nabbed info/money etc.

    from the devices the content creators were using, foil did stop the rfid (if that is what the tech is in the cards) from being read, for ONE single card but for some reason, when 2 cards or more were placed in the foil, some were able to be read.

    THAT being said, there are specialty cards that are specifically made to prevent essentially anything from reading the card so long as it is inside. the good ones look to be around $15-20 and i cannot comment about economical versions.

    SO, i presume simple foil would work for single slabs in a box. a simple way to test it. i have some of the slabs with chips in them but i had to do something else to get the correct pcgs app and something was annoying or requesting something of me enough so that i opted to not get the app to test out the scanning variances, so someone else here can try it and let us know?

    tbh, if the package is valuable enough, perhaps even using foil as some extra packing material would work?

    anyone know the cost of copper foil if it is available on the open market? gotta be pretty inexpensive, even at todays prices.

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,490 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MS66 said:
    I'd just like a way to get proof of shipping without waiting in line at the post office.

    Well, I guess there's FedEx (no line usually) but nothing really proves what you have put in the package anyway, does it.

    Even Registered Mail doesn't do that, does it?

    Scanning at the counter via any tracking method including registered proves you handed "A" package to them, but no the size or type or contents. I personally will scan every package in at the counter as that way usps has it logged in.

    I have now had 2 purchases not scanned in at the counter disappear. One from a member here (still a chance it shows up tho).

    As for the op, using larger boxes and/or some other cheap way to inhibit the signal, especially on higher value items, seems pertinent.

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,670 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I seem to recall that Mylar film works. Yup, just checked and that's the ticket. Good luck. I'm gonna start lining my packages with it and it doesn't add any weight to boot. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,677 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another reason to buy only only rattlers & OGHs and they are already in high demand.

  • ElmhurstElmhurst Posts: 774 ✭✭✭

    Avoid shipping in the small flat rate boxes. These have been increasingly subject to theft. Check out Gerry Fortin’s recent blog on this; he will no longer cover these on his insurance.

  • DeutscherGeistDeutscherGeist Posts: 2,990 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the information and glad to know that tin foil is still an effective material to use in blocking chips from being read.

    Taking this on a similar note, would lining a regular wallet with tin foil protect all the credit and debit cards from being read by a scanning machine? Must each card be wrapped or surrounded by aluminum separately?

    "So many of our DREAMS at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we SUMMON THE WILL they soon become INEVITABLE "- Christopher Reeve

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  • cccoinscccoins Posts: 286 ✭✭✭✭

    @AUandAG said:
    Glad I don't own a phone.................oh crap, I own coins with chips, though. ugh.

    bob :)

    If I recall correctly, you grew up near telegraph street. :smile:

  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cccoins said:

    @AUandAG said:
    Glad I don't own a phone.................oh crap, I own coins with chips, though. ugh.

    bob :)

    If I recall correctly, you grew up near telegraph street. :smile:

    Nah, it was Smoke Signal Avenue

    bob :)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
  • fathomfathom Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If this were really a concern would not our host be shipping submissions back in protective material?

    Do they think registered mail is enough security?

    Are they looking to revise shipping instructions?

    Someone from PCGS please respond to this important thread.

    I think it would be in their best interest to be proactive on this concern.

  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DeutscherGeist said:
    Thanks for the information and glad to know that tin foil is still an effective material to use in blocking chips from being read.

    Taking this on a similar note, would lining a regular wallet with tin foil protect all the credit and debit cards from being read by a scanning machine? Must each card be wrapped or surrounded by aluminum separately?

    based on the videos i watched of people doing actual scans and comparisons and we could see the results on the screen when a scan worked and didn't based on variations, yes, since foil is essentially the cheapest, one can expect the cheapest results, meaning each card individually BUT if someone is truly series and/or has a serious amount to protect buy the professional version, without question. for each card i mean.

    THEN we can test it. leave the card(s) in the sleeves when we go to make a purchase and try to get it to work while still in the sleeve. nothing like real-world testing. :)

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,490 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So as a quick update to this thread, I have a high value coin going out, and wrapped it 3x in aluminum foil. Without the foil my phone could detect it easily... With the foil, it can't detect anything.

    This is in a small flat rate priority box.

    YMMV of course.

  • 1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,804 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DollarAfterDollar said:
    I think you're right. The only barrier might be to wrap shipped coins in slabs with aluminum foil.

    Maybe you could locate one of those lead envelopes that we used to use to protect our film from the airport scanners back before digital photography took over.

  • MarkInDavisMarkInDavis Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭

    While this may not be a big problem yet, mylar bag/aluminum foil seems like a simple solution to a potentially expensive problem. Or maybe PCGS/NGC could just have all coins scan as 2001 Lincoln cents in XF40 until a week after shipping. Nobody would bother with those.

    image Respectfully, Mark
  • logger7logger7 Posts: 8,069 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Many coins are too estoteric for people to know the real value unless they are familiar with the hobby, of course coins with intrinsic value may be a big issue and there are tell tale signs of real value in a package as well.

    Some years ago I dropped off some ebay sales I had packaged at a small rural NH post office, spoke with the clerk a little who said she sells on ebay. There was no tracking for days, I went back to that post office to inquire, then they showed in the system. I don't know if a sharp postal employee could identify a given ebay sale based on the label.

  • HillbillyCollectorHillbillyCollector Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Pnies20 said:
    That’s interesting to take into account when shipping

    But that’s a very specific thing for someone to be looking for. The average person wouldn’t be attempting that. I think it would be very rare that someone would find your coins that way.

    There is also faraday technology that could be used for shipping if you have to ship high value coins it may be worth it to look into.

    Faraday technology, please explain?

    So I don’t know how the PO works but here is my concern. It seems that many ship registered mail and of course get insurance. Of course, the sky’s the limit on the insurance, depending on what is sent. Are the POs controls tight enough to control who has access to said package at any given time, with sig, initials, etc. I am assuming, but we all know how assuming goes! In other words make it very difficult to lift a package by making it very difficult to divert. I am good friends with head person at our little PO. Think I’ll let her walk me through the particulars.
    Fortunately I only lost a pocketknife though the mail when I was a youngster and it was insured. No easy chore getting the money back, though.
    HB

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