Chip card May Not Be As Safe As You Think

credit card

Some of the amazing things we outlined were the replacement of magnetic strip with wise chips (chips cards) on our debit and credit cards which would significantly improve security.

Has it really improved it?

The problem with those old magnetic strips was that fraudsters and other scoundrels could easily clone (copy) them.

The new cards that change them are also referred to as chip-and-pins or EMVs (for the starting Eurocard, Mastercard and Visa suppliers).

For about 3 to 4 years after their introduction in the U.S. (they have been made available in Europe for several years), criminals have finally learned how to take details fixed in the new chip cards.

They have to naturally lay their hands on your card first. It was discovered in 2015, that they were using heat to remove chips from batches giving to service providers and sticking them on other cards.

(See How Lawbreakers Have Discovered a Method to Change the Chips on Credit Cards to get more information on this)

Their crude technology has actually evolved and they can now use more advanced variations of skimming devices, or shimmers that are heading in the card slot on ATMs and payment devices.

Some months ago, a new alert was raised by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

She admitted that ‘credit and debit cards with the chip secure the user’s identity more than magnetic strips.’ A distinct deal code that can’t be used once again is produced by the chip. Unfortunately, scammers are constantly developing their methods and can now develop a version of the card including a magnetic strip, which is still accepted by numerous sellers, online especially, using the details they acquire from the shim.

Unfortunately, it is more difficult to spot shimming gadgets than the old-style skimmers.

The bad people put their fake reader in front of the genuine device to collect the data with the latter.

Shimming devices that have their own microchip technology, are so thin that they can barely fit inside the slot. They are basically invisible to all and they alert users.

The point-of-sale (POS) devices that is seen at sales register in stores and somewhere else, are these crook’s favorite targets.  What it takes to replace the shim is just some seconds, which is usually when they are spending for something they purchased.

And then shim is extracted, with its details taken simply and quickly.

Scientists have claimed in other reported cases that shims are capable of customizing the information of certain transactions, by using the victim’s card to move cash.

Protect Yourself.

The following actions are suggested by site if you want to protect yourself against a shimmer:

Make use of a con tactless tap-and-go feature if you have it, instead of swiping or placing your card.

You should think of using smartphone payment apps like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay to tap and pay.

Go inside and use a teller if you are withdrawing cash at a bank.

Instead of more vulnerable standalones, use ATMs in banks. For security purpose, ATMs inside banks would most likely be more secured than those elsewhere.

When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your hand. Tiny cameras are used by the crooks to read your number. They also make use of heat-seeking devices that can tell which keys were recently pressed. Press a couple more keys at random after getting your cash.

If after placing the card, and things do not feel right—if there is resistance for example—end the deal.

If you suspect your card has been jeopardized, contact the bank and your card provider.

Instead of debit card at gas pumps (where they’re accepted), use a credit card, since they provide more security and don’t include information of your savings account.

And always remember to constantly monitor your card statements—on a daily basis if you are using online services—so that prompt action can be taken if anything unusual is observed.

This particular route to information theft will be blocked to the criminal in an ideal situation as merchants and other businesses stop accepting magnetic-strip swipe cards. 

But don’t count on it. They are probably working on brand new methods of laying their hands on our chip card data and stealing our loan behind the scenes already. CWP


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