Beware of the New Credit Card E-Mail Scam

Beware of the New Credit Card E-Mail Scam

October 6, 2015         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Criminals are finding a way to scam consumers with the recent conversion to the more secure chip-embedded credit cards.

Since only about 40% of Americans have received their new EMV cards, many are wondering when their current card will be replaced. Scammers are taking advantage of this, sending an e-mail that seems to come from the user’s credit card company. In order to get their new chip card, the letter informs them that they need to either click a link to update their account or respond to the e-mail and provide personal information.

If a consumer responds to the e-mail, the scammer will obviously have instant access to that user’s personal information. If the recipient clicks on the link, they will download keystroke-logging malware that will allow a scammer to steal personal information from the computer, including passwords, financial information and a person’s Social Security number.

Steve Weisman, a lawyer and professor at Bentley University, offered some tips for determining whether an e-mail is legitimate. Just because an e-mail has the credit card company’s logo does not mean the e-mail really came from the company. It is fairly easy to counterfeit a logo. If the sender’s e-mail address does not seem related to the company, it is obviously a fake.

Another thing to examine is the content of the e-mail. Instead of addressing a user by name, the scam e-mail will generally start with “Dear Cardholder.” When a credit card company actually sends an e-mail to its cardholders, the letter will address them by name, and the last four digits of the credit card number will be referenced somewhere in the e-mail.

Finally, it is unlikely that a credit card company needs to confirm personal information before issuing a new EMV credit card. If you do want more information about an e-mail you have received, call the toll-free number on the back of your card.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 6, 2015. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
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