Experts warn of credit card chip scam

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- New credit and debit card chip technology offers an added layer of security for consumers. But criminals have been working new angles off consumer confusion to try to break through that layer.

The chip in your new card makes shopping more secure. It transmits a one-time pass code unique to that one transaction. Card readers are gradually being installed by local merchants. But consumers should be aware scammers have been calling people and sending emails trying to get your personal information.

Keri Bennitt of the Fresno County Federal Credit Union said the calls are, "Letting them know the reason they haven't received their card with the chip technology in it is because they need their information updated and they're requesting personal information over the phone or via email. Don't give out any personal financial information over the phone."

Thieves are trying to tap into any confusion people may have over the new technology. Cindy Dudley from the Better Business Bureau explained, "If a consumer provides a credit card number, a pin number, the three digit code on the back, to someone who is a scammer then they've just become the latest identity theft victim."

The chip and pin system has been in place in Europe for two decades.

Security researcher Steven Murdoch of University College in London told Action News thieves have found a way to trick terminals into accepting stolen cards. Murdoch said, "So what needs to be done is putting some electronics in between the real card and the terminal that is being used in the shop." A colored x-ray illustrated how a second chip can be implanted with the security chip to fool the card reader.

Experts said it was important to pay close attention to your credit and debit card statement and report any suspicious activity immediately.
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