How the New Credit Card Microchips Protect You

Even if you don’t have one yet, you’ve probably seen the new credit cards that have a microchip on the front. These chips, officially called EMV Smart Chips (The EMV means “Europay, MasterCard and Visa”), provide users with a better layer of security than traditional credit card magnetic strips. They’re more secure because the chip and credit card reader talk to each other using encrypted data – old cards simply gave the data without protection. This makes chipped cards far more difficult for fraudsters to clone and they’re certainly a welcome technology for anyone looking to protect their identity and financial information.

It’s time to retire your swiping motion and get caught up on the insert – the credit card microchip EMV conversion mandate is upon us come Thursday, September 30.

If you do your banking with a major financial institution like Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Chase, there is a pretty good chance that you already have a microchip on your credit or debit card. Not only that, but you may have used the technology already while shopping at a major retail chain (Wal-Mart is where I first encountered one). Continue Reading at About Bill Pay

But unlike a simple magnetic strip, the chip interacts with the machine that is reading it, in order to encrypt the data and authenticate it more securely. In effect, the credit card and its reader have an encrypted conversation in order to ensure the credit card is valid, while a simple (that is, “dumb”) magnetic stripe merely recites your credit card number and expiration date to any machine that can read it. Continue Reading at Credit.com

Avoiding Credit Card Chip Scams

Ironically, the new credit card security chips, which are supposed to keep your information even more secure from hackers and data breaches, has driven scammers to come up with new (& old) angles to steal your personal information.  While we all may be just a little safer using our cards at retail stores, criminals are using phishing emails which appear to be from legitimate banks.  The company logos, addresses and information all appear to be real.  The messages read to the effect, “Your card is on the way, but you need to update some information before you can start using it”.

They then ask you for your account numbers, passwords and other sensitive information that you definitely do not want to give out.  Don’t go for it!

Do not reply to the email.

Do not click on any links within the email

Your bank or credit card company will never ask you for this kind of information via email.  Keep your account numbers and online passwords secure and never give them to anyone you can’t 100% verify their identity.

This type of scam has been going on since the beginning of the internet, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still an effective tool for identity thieves.  Stay aware.  Report any suspicious emails like this to your financial institutions immediately.  If you believe you’ve been a victim of one of these scams, immediately check your credit report and monitor your credit to ensure you haven’t had more information stolen than just your account numbers.

 

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