Courtesy of Wisc. Better Business Bureau
The new debit and credit cards with embedded chips are supposed to provide users more security, but they have also brought about a new opportunity for scammers, according to the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.
Consumers are warned to keep an eye out for emails asking for too much information.
For example, a consumer receives an email indicating a new credit or debit card with the chip is on the way. But first the recipient needs to update some account information. The message seems to be from the bank or credit card issuer and may include the company’s logo and even the reply email address.
“All you need to do, claims the message, is reply and confirm your personal and banking information” according to a Better Business Bureau press release. “Or, in another version, the message instructs you to click on a link to continue the process.”
Don’t do it! Sharing personal information, allows the scammer to commit identity theft. Clicking on the link may download malware, which scammers use to steal personal information.
Tips to spot a phishing scam:
- Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments. Do not click on links or open files in unfamiliar emails.
- Consider how the company normally contacts you. If a company usually contacts you by phone, be suspicious if you suddenly start receiving emails or text messages without ever opting in to the new communications. Banks and credit card issuers have secure communications channels that require you to log into your account before you can read the message.
- Don’t believe what you see. Just because an email looks real, doesn’t mean it is. Scammers can fake anything from a company logo to the “Sent” email address.
- Check the company’s website or call them. If something sounds suspicious, confirm it by checking with the bank or credit card issuer. The customer service phone number will be on the back of the card. If you want to look on the company’s website, look for the URL on your statement or do a web search. DON’T click on any links in the message you suspect is a scam.
- Be cautious of generic emails. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Always be wary of messages that don’t contain your name, last digits of your account number or other personalizing information.