October 1st was the deadline for retailers and credit card issuing companies to switch over to using new EMV, or Euro-pay Mastercard Visa, credit cards, which contain a computer chip along with a black strip.
The way it works is the computer chip creates and encrypts a new number every time it’s used–this is expected to help reduce the amount of credit card fraud.
Newly implemented regulations say that if a business or credit card issuing company doesn’t switch over to this new technology, and in the event of credit card fraud, the non-compliant party will be responsible for the loss.
Some stores are already on top of the switch over. You may notice the new card processing machines at Target, Walmart, Walgreens and Costco.
However preventive it is for customers, this new technology also provides a new opportunity for scam artists to steal your identity.
Scam artists are doing this by posing as a credit card company and informing people that in order to issue their new EMV chip card, they have to update their account by providing personal information.
So how can you tell if an email from a credit card company is legitimate?
According to Steve Weismen a lawyer and blogger for scamicide.com, don’t automatically assume that it’s legitimate if you see the logo of your credit card company because it could be counterfeit.
Weismen said check the address of the email sender–if it appears to be from someone or some company unrelated to your credit card issuer, it’s a scam.
The safest thing you can do if you’re unsure if the company is legitimate is to call the 1-800 phone number on the back of your card and call to confirm with them.
It’s important to note, although the EMV chip card is expected to reduce credit card fraud, it won’t stop fraud involved in online purchases.