On Your Side Alert: Warning about chip credit card scams

On Your Side Alert: Warning about chip credit card scams

(WWBT) - We have told you about the new chip card technology. In fact, you may have noticed new machines at stores or on your credit or debit card. It's designed to keep you safer  but it has also prompted a new email scheme.

Consumer experts say crooks are sending fake emails trying to get your account information and possibly your money. They are targeting consumers unsure how cards with the new embedded chip technology works. Bruce Whitehurst, President and CEO of Virginia Bankers Association, says the new cards are meant to protect against identity theft. "Each chip has a microprocessor that really can't be copied or duplicated and so they are much more secure than the cards with the magnetic strips on the back," he explains.

Criminals are aware of this technology and have created fraudulent emails posing as credit card companies. The bogus notices say in order to get your new card, you have to update your account details or click on a link. If you fall for this, scammers can install a program that steals everything you type, like password and account information. "When you see an email that says click here and give us some personal information, please don't do that. That is the last thing you want to do," Whitehurst says.

He says don't trust unsolicited emails and of course never give up any information. "It's important for consumers to know that their card issuer or bank, already has all the information they need because they are a current card holder," he explains.

When in doubt, always contact your financial institution. Whitehurst also reminds consumers while the new chip technology makes it more difficult for crooks to steal your card information, there are still concerns about data breaches. "The chip technology doesn't overcome the need for adequate protection of data on the part of anybody who has sensitive information," he says.  Report any suspicious email to your bank right away.

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