Watch out for the EMV ‘phish & chips’ scam

David Pollino
Posted by David Pollino
Security

There’s a new scam out there; I’m calling it “phish & chips.”

Woman looking at email on her laptop, in the window of a cafe that is reflecting a street scene in front of her.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers of a new scam related to the massive U.S. conversion to EMV chip cards designed to make credit card use more secure in this country.

Many card issuers, including Bank of the West, have issued or are in the process of issuing new credit and debit cards to their customers. The new cards use EMV chip technology to reduce the chances of fraudsters stealing card information to create counterfeit cards.

With so many new cards moving through the mail, the scammers smelled an opportunity. The FTC has warned that scammers are emailing people, posing as a card issuer who needs their personal information in order to send out a new EMV chip card. They ask people to provide personal information or click on a link to continue the process.

Don’t do it! Don’t respond to this type of email, and don’t click on any links in this sort of email. There is no reason a card issuer would contact you by email or by phone to confirm personal information before sending you a chip card.

If you reply to the email you may be giving away personal information that opens you up to identity theft. Similarly, if you click on a link, you may install malware that can monitor your online activity, send spam, steal personal information, or commit fraud.

If you receive an email or phone call about the issuance of an EMV chip card, my advice is don’t respond and don’t provide any information. Instead, if you are unsure about the legitimacy of the caller, find your existing credit or debit card and call your issuer at that number.

See also:
5 security tips for latecomers to the EMV transition

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  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the heads up!!

    Reply | 4 years ago

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