Combating fraud is easy when you are fully aware of the types of scams out there and how to avoid them. To make sure you're the first to know about new scams - or old ones with a new twist - be sure to sign up for Visa Fraud News Alerts. Visa will keep you up-to-date and at the cutting edge, ensuring the latest information and fraud-fighting techniques are always at your fingertips. Here are a few of the latest headlines:
EMV chip cards gaining momentum in the United States
Have you heard about chip cards or EMV chip cards? Many people haven't yet, but may soon start hearing the buzz. As this video explains, EMV chip cards have a tiny computer chip embedded in them that helps make them more secure from cyber hackers. The chip securely stores payment data that currently reside on the magnetic stripe, and enables more secure processing by generating a one-time-use code for each transaction. These features make EMV chip card data nearly impossible to counterfeit and, eventually, a less attractive target for criminals to steal.
Back in August 2011, Visa set a plan for financial institutions and merchants to begin switching to chip cards in the United States. The industry analyst Aite Group projects that by the end of 2015, 70 percent of U.S. credit cards and 41 percent of U.S. debit cards will feature these new chips. That means consumers are going to start experiencing this new technology soon.
Chip cards offer greater security by creating a one-time use code in the transaction data. Because the code is unique to a single transaction, it can't be re-used to commit fraud even it falls into the hands of data thieves. Eventually, chip cards can virtually eliminate counterfeit payment card fraud. Chip card technology also supports mobile payments, so the investments the industry makes today will help accelerate new innovations now and in the future.
Making a purchase at the checkout counter will be slightly different with "chip cards," but the process will remain fast and convenient. As the infographic explains, cardholders will have to “insert” their card face up into the terminal rather than “swiping” it. Similar to non-EMV transactions, cardholders will then either sign for the purchase, enter a PIN, or do nothing at all for some quick every day transactions.
When a scammer calls
You're at home and the telephone rings. While the caller's phone number looks unfamiliar, you're on the Do Not Call registry, so you answer. Sound familiar?
When this happened to David Lott of the Atlanta Federal Reserve, the person on the other end of the line represented herself as being from the Microsoft Windows Security Center. She informed him not only that his computer was infected, but that he could download an application that would remove the virus – for a price. As you might suspect, the call was a scam. Had Mr. Lott taken the bait, the fraudulent “fee” he would have lost would likely pale in comparison to the potential of having his computer hacked.
While not new, telephone scams continue to fleece unsuspecting consumers. Whether masquerading as a computer company or bank, this brand of fraudster usually requests consumers to share sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers or payment card account details.
The most important thing to remember in these situations is to never give personal information to someone who calls you. While your financial institution may call to report suspicious activity or to confirm that you made a particular transaction, you will not be asked to provide your account information. If this happens to you, dial the number on the back of your payment card to verify the call. Never use the telephone number the caller provides.
Scammers continue to call, because they sometimes succeed. If you are suspicious, end the call immediately. Better to be safe than scammed.