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FTC Issues Chip Card Scam Alert

The Federal Trade Commission is warning of a series of scams aimed at taking advantage of consumers who have yet to receive their chip cards.

In a blog post on the agency’s site, the FTC said that scammers are emailing would-be victims, presenting themselves as card issuers. The line is thus: In order to get a new, safe chip card, it’s necessary to update an account by offering up personal data or clicking on a link contained within the email. Of course, volunteering any such personal data opens the door wide to identity theft, noted the FTC. The link itself may be a conduit to malware, and malware can present all sorts of knotty problems, ranging from monitoring online activity to computer crashes to turning devices into zombies that send endless spam.

The FTC said that consumers should be aware that no card issuer needs to contact users by email or phone looking for sensitive information before issuing a card. Consumers should not respond to such requests, said the FTC. Links to emails should never be trusted; data should instead be sent only through a company’s website, and users should make sure that they type in the addresses themselves, said the commission. There’s also safety in using the cards in one’s wallet (i.e., pre-chip card replacement) to find and contact the card issuers themselves in an effort to ascertain whether contact has indeed been legitimate.

[bctt tweet=”The FTC said that consumers should be aware that no card issuer needs to contact users by email or phone.”]

More than 200 million chip cards came to market before the official EMV shift took place earlier this month. That number offers up ample room for scammers to try to game the system a bit at the expense of card users who have not yet gotten their new cards.

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