Gabee, an accessories business that specializes in leather goods, released its latest range of safety leather wallets and purses earlier this year.
The wallets and purses have protective shielding foil that stops fraudsters from scanning the radio-frequency identification chips (RFID) on credit cards and passports.
The RFID chips can be read from a distance and criminal gangs use handheld scanners, often at airports and busy streets, to steal information.
Design and creative director Monique Arnheim said the company was one of a few selling these products in Australia and that many of their customers who traveled for business had welcomed the innovation.
The company, in its 65th year, was started by German-born Heinz Arnheim who named the business after his wife Gabriella.
The company has been directed for the past 30 years by son Frank who has continued his father’s tradition of brining European-style accessories to the Australian market.Now the founder’s grandchildren, Mark and Monique, are helping the business thrive into the future.
Ms Arnheim, a trained architect, came on board the family business four years ago.
She said it was a challenge to come up with new designs that would suit current trends but that the company’s customer base was loyal.
“We have customers who have been buying from us for generations,” Ms Arheim said.
Monash Crime Investigation Unit boss Mark Delahunty said the unit had not yet encountered any cases of identity theft from criminals accessing information from RFID chip od credit cards or passports.
However Detective Senior Sergeant Delahunty said that fraud with “Paywave” technology was happening across Melbourne.
Paywave enables users to simply wave their card along a card reader for transactions under $100.
He said while the technology was convenient for the owner of the card, criminals could easily get away with multiple, easy transactions with stolen credit cards.
Gabee has an outlet that is open to the public at 228 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill.