As the credit card industry continues its switch to chip-based cards, scammers are finding new ways to take advantage of consumers. Banks have been issuing new credit and debit cards that have an embedded microchip to meet last year’s liability change deadline, but not everyone has received a new card yet – leaving a window open for future scams. While new credit cards with the EMV chip technology are designed to make it harder for fraudsters to take advantage of consumers, there are new ways these cons are getting the information they need.
Gary Cardone, CEO of dispute mediation company eConsumerServices warns that with any new credit card technology, there’s going to be a continued need for due diligence. “The EMV ‘chip and pin’ system is the most secure way to make credit card payments. If someone tried to use information duplicated from the chip, the transaction would be denied, while producing fake EMV chip cards will be almost impossible.”
However; this approach to thwart one type of fraud has created unintended loop-holes for new types of fraud. Recent data has shown that scammers will pose as credit card companies and contact consumers through email, informing them that a new chip card is coming; and with 60% of remaining card issuer’s still viable targets where the cardholder has not yet received their new EMV card, many consumers become easy prey. Scammers contact the cardholder under the pretense that additional account information is required in order to send out their new EMV card – convincing the consumer to provide security information and other personal information linked to their identity. Consumers think this is a reasonable request and willingly hand over, account numbers, credit card numbers and social security numbers (1). Additional reports claim fraudsters have come up with a new type of credit card fraud altogether to circumvent the chip technology by opening new credit cards and accounts in the victim’s name, rather than using the information of an existing account. New account fraud is likely to become even more prevalent amid the banking industry’s move to EMV-chip-enabled credit and debit cards, which generate a unique transaction code with each purchase, making them harder to spoof (2).
According to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research, as reported by CNBC, fraud losses from unauthorized purchases or withdrawals on an existing account fell from $14 billion to $12 billion last year, contributing to an overall decline in fraud losses for 2015. However, those stemming from new account fraud increased from $2 billion to $3 billion (2).
“Although the transition to EMV is expected to lead to less counterfeiting of cards, fraudsters are always evolving and will continue to create new ways to take advantage of consumers; however, there are also always steps that can be taken to reduce their risk,” adds Cardone.
When combating fraud, Cardone suggests to never trust email links; scammers can use the provided information to steal a consumer’s identity, and clicking on the link could install malware and compromise the computer’s security. He also urges consumers to contact their bank and always verify that any emails they receive from a financial institution are legitimate prior to releasing secure account information.
It is important for consumers to stay as cautious as possible with all personal information, pull credit reports, check account statements regularly for any suspicious activity and if fraud is suspected, call and report the activity to the bank immediately. Consumers, who are confused by a statement or find that something looks unfamiliar, can contact eConsumerServices for help speaking with their financial institution.
Global Risk Technologies is most known for its role in payment processing solutions that cater to each side of the value chain: Chargebacks911.com and eConsumerServices.com. The firm is headquartered in Tampa Bay, Florida, with offices in Ireland and Atlanta. They have approximately 350 employees worldwide, and currently manage over 150MM in transactions each month, with clients located in the U.S. and Europe.
eConsumerServices focuses on the cardholder or consumer in order to encourage transactional resolution before it progresses to a chargeback. The company caters to the B2C (business-to-consumer) sector of Global’s initiative, in working to realize greater standardization and increased efficiency within the payments industry. eConsumerServices is an online mediation service that works to effectively and efficiently resolve transaction issues between merchants, consumers and banks. For more information, visit http://www.eConsumerServices.com.
1. “Consumer Alert: Scammers taking advantage of credit card chip confusion.” THV11-CBS 30 March 2016. Web. thv11.com/news/local/consumer-alert-scammers-taking-advantage-of-credit-card-chip-confusion/110492420
2. “How fraudsters are getting around chip and pin cards.” CNBC 2 Feb. 2016. Web. cnbc.com/2016/02/02/how-fraudsters-are-getting-around-chip-n-pin-cards.html