Beware This Email Scam Involving EMV Credit Cards
The new cards are more secure, so criminals are resorting to an old trick
A new twist on an old email scam may be coming soon to your inbox.
The scam is phishing — in which hackers create a Web page that resembles a legitimate website, like your bank's — and the twist involves EMV credit cards, aka “chip” cards.
Related: 6 Tips for Safer Online Banking
If you don’t have one of these cards yet, your credit card company will probably send you one soon. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers are sending emails and pretending to be your financial institution. The email says you must update some personal information on their (fake) website before your new chip card can be issued and instructs you to click on a link.
Don’t click, the FTC says. And don’t reply to the email with any information. If you provide your card number, social security number or any other information, the scammer can use it to steal your identity, the FTC says. And if you click on the link, you run the risk of malware being installed on your computer. Malware can crash your computer, monitor your online activity and steal your personal data.
The card issuer has no reason to contact you via email — or even phone — to ask for personal information before sending you a card, according to the FTC. If you’re not sure it’s a scam, call your bank using the phone number on your card. Provide information online only if you typed in the URL yourself (versus clicking on a link in an email) and the address starts with “https” (the “s” means secure).
"With the rollout of EMV, debit and credit cards become less susceptible to fraud through skimming or card cloning, as well as theft. Together with other techniques that the payment industry is implementing — such as ‘tokenization’ and ‘end to end encryption’ — consumers are provided with a better level of assurance for credit card security. For decades, the debit and credit cards themselves have been the ‘weakest link’ in the system. Now that this link have been reinforced, fraudsters begin to look elsewhere. Email phishing and phone scams are the unfortunate side effect of more secure card technology. Consumers should remember that their bank will never ask for social security numbers, PIN numbers or card numbers through email or telephone," says UL’s Maarten Bron, director of innovations in the transaction security division.
To further protect yourself against identity theft, experts recommend monitoring your credit reports for evidence of fraud and checking your bank and credit card statements regularly to look for transactions you didn’t make.
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