Talk about irony. Scammers are using the national switchover to chip-based credit and debit cards — which are suppose to be more secure — as bait in phishing expeditions.
Phishing involves a fraudster posing as a legitimate company via email, regular mail or phone call. According to a blog post from the Federal Trade Commission, this is how it works:
“Scammers are emailing people, posing as their card issuer. The scammers claim that in order to issue a new chip card, you need to update your account by confirming some personal information or clicking on a link to continue the process.”
If you reply to the email with personal information, the scammer can use it to steal your identity. If you click on the link, you may unknowingly install malware on your computer. Malware can cause your device to crash, monitor your online activity, send spam, steal personal information and commit fraud, the FTC says.
So how can you tell if the email is from a scammer?
The FTC: “There’s no reason your card issuer needs to contact you by email — or by phone, for that matter — to confirm personal information before sending you a new chip card. Don’t respond to an email or phone call that asks you to provide your card number. Period.”
To learn more about protecting your personal information, check out the FTC’s Privacy & Identity section.