EMV Cards and Your Protection: What You Need to Know

EMV Cards and Your Protection

We have heard a lot about the switch to EMV cards over the past few months. That is for good reason as the major players in the credit card industry set an October 1st deadline for merchants to install new chip card readers.

While new EMV cards offer an added layer of security for consumers and additional complexities in operations for retailers, there are still nefarious characters out there trying to use the change as an opportunity to defraud others. Following are some things to be on the lookout for and guard against as the rollout of new EMV cards continues.

Phishing Emails

How many spam and phishing emails do you receive in a day? I know I get too many to count. Over 200 billion phishing emails are sent worldwide every day. The information such spammers are looking for can vary, though many often seek financial information and try to look official to gain your trust.

The move to EMV cards provides such individuals a ripe opportunity. If you receive an email from someone posing as your issuing bank asking for updates to your personal information to receive your new card – it’s a scam. The purpose behind the scam? They want your credit card information.

Of course, you don’t want to give it to them. Rather, call your financial institution to let them know. If you haven’t received your new EMV card yet, they should be able to inform you when you’ll receive one. If you did click on a link, make sure to monitor your credit report and watch other accounts for fraudulent activity. It is important to remember this is not a hard deadline, but one that we’ll continue to see to roll out as merchants and retailers comply with the new EMV standards.

At the Register

A key shift in the EMV card move is who is responsible for fraudulent activity. In basic terms, liability has shifted to those who are not compliant with the new standards – the retailer or the card issuer. If the retailer, as of October 1st, has not made the switch from the old system – known as “swipe and sign” they will be on the hook for any fraudulent charges.

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However, if the issuing bank has not made the switch by not sending out chip-enabled cards, they will be responsible. As these new EMV cards truly only impact in-store purchases it’s important to remember the shift does not mitigate risk to online purchases, thus the need to still regularly monitor your accounts.

In Your Mail

You know what new credit cards look like when they come in the mail. They typically arrive in fat envelopes along with other paperwork. My wife and I churn credit cards to travel for free. As you can imagine, we’ve received plenty of these mailers over the past few weeks and months.

It only takes a few moments to authorize those new cards, though it can still be a hassle going through the automated system. Don’t put off authorizing those new cards as your old one will no longer be good in a few days. It also goes without saying to regularly check your mail to get those mailers so as to not leave them out for would be crooks hoping to get a credit card.

The new EMV cards promise an added level of security. It remains to be seen if we’ll experience that. In the meantime, make sure to be in the know as to how they work and take an active role in protecting your information.

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