RP Funding Credit Corner: New Credit Cards Targeted by Fraud Scammers

Consumers and business owners have recently been issued new, chip-enabled cards from their credit card company. Chances are, you recognized the metallic chip on the card, which might raise some questions. 

What is it?

This small magnetic chip is known as EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa. These three companies created the new standard with a main goal of keeping the personal information of consumer’s safe. This seems like a great initiative due to the rise in credit card fraud and identity theft in the United States. According to this article by ABC News, 31.8 million U.S. consumers were victims of credit card information theft in the past year.

The goal of the chip is to make sure that all credit card-carrying consumers are safe from this kind of fraudulent activity. However, new developments in the credit card industry bring new opportunities for criminals waiting to commit fraudulent crimes.

How criminals are taking advantage

With so much change happening in the credit card industry, there is room for criminals committing fraud to prey on unknowing consumers. A report from CNN Money indicates that almost 60 percent of consumers have not received their new chip-enabled credit card. This is where criminals are going to attack.

The same report says that consumers are receiving emails in which fraudulent criminals are impersonating credit card issuers. In the email, they will tell the consumer that personal information needs to be updated for their account ask will ask victim’s to respond with the correct information. They also provide a link to follow to receive their updated credit card. 

Scammers use the information provided to steal identities and clicking on the link can compromise the security of the computer. 

How you can protect yourself from fraud

Robert Palmer provides simple steps you can take to prevent yourself from being a victim of this new scam:

Call the right number 

Rarely will someone from your bank, credit card company or other financial institution reach out to obtain important, personal information. If someone calls claiming to be from one of these entities, consider it an immediate red flag. Scammers do this to obtain missing pieces of the puzzle used to hack into your accounts or steal your identity. With sensitive information, they can take control of your finances. The worst part? You gave it to them!

If ever you find yourself receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be from your financial institution, do one simple thing: hang up. The objective with this is to ensure that this person really is who they say they are. After hanging up, call the number of company in which they claimed to be associated with. If they really are legitimate, the company will have a record that includes why they’re contacting you and have the ability to find the individual who reached out. This way, you know you are speaking with the right person.

Don’t Click on the Link

“If you have an email account, you have gotten an email from a scammer. In fact, you have gotten a lot of emails from scammers. These individuals have become so sophisticated in how they operate that their scams will look identical to your bank or credit card company. One common method used by scammers is to reach you via an email that includes a link to their website. This email will make you believe that you have important notifications regarding your account; So important that your immediate attention is needed in order to verify that you are the account holder. 

If you do receive an email that looks legitimate, do your own investigating. Before clicking on any link that they provide you, visit the company’s official website where you typically manage your account. Your bank or credit card company should have a notification center like the one you can find here. This helps communicate all of your account activity with you. If you do not have a notification or they do not provide this service, call the customer service hotline and notify them of the suspicious email you received.”