Beware of Credit Card EMV Chip Technology Email Scams

Many retailers have not met the October deadline for chip-card readers. While credit card issuers are in the process of switching to EMV Chip Technology, retailers are lagging behind in updating their card processing equipment.

EMV chips are designed to provide increased security for in-person transactions. But it is useless without retailers being prepared to accept the new technology.

Cue the Scammers

Unfortunately credit card fraud is not going away. There will always be some form of fraud. But scammers have managed to insert themselves in the chip-technology transition process.

By posing as credit card companies scammers are sending emails to unsuspecting consumers. The emails instruct people to provide sensitive information or to click on a fraudulent link in order to receive their new chip enabled credit card.

If you receive an email instructing you to provide sensitive information or to click on a link to receive a new EMV technology card, delete it immediately. It’s important to keep in mind that legitimate financial institutions will never ask you to provide sensitive information via email. If you provide sensitive personal information in response to the email, you have just made yourself a victim of identity theft.

It’s also always a good idea to avoid clicking on links from questionable sources or addresses. You could end up downloading some kind of  keystroke logging malware that will steal the personal information from your computer including your Social Security number, passwords and financial information.

It’s going to take a bit more time to fully convert all credit card holders to the new EMV technology. It’s estimated that more than a billion credit cards will have to be reissued. According to a recent survey by only about 40% of Americans have received new EMV chip cards from their credit card companies.

Stephanie Ericksen, VP, Risk Products for Visa, said “Visa had reissued 151.8 million EMV chip cards by mid September.” That number is big but only represents 20% of the total credit cards that need to be reissued.

Emails may look legitimate

Steer clear of fraudulent emails from your credit card issuer, even though it may look legitimate with company logos. Always check the address of the email sender. If it appears to come from someone or some company wholly unrelated to your credit card issuer, it is a scam.

Typical emails from your credit card issuer regarding the new EMV Chip Technology Credit Card will likely include the last 4-digits of your credit card number and will only “inform” you that your new card is on the way. Credit card issuers will not require you to verify your personal information or click a link to get your new card.