A scam tied to the new “smart-chip” enabled credit and debit cards has reached the Boston North Shore economy as millions of Americans await their banks to send the new cards. While the chips are designed to put an end to counterfeiting, as usual, the bad guys have other things in mind.
Crooks Target The Boston North Shore Economy
Because it’s new, scammers are banking on you not knowing much about the smart-chip cards and how the banks will issue them. They’re sending out emails under the guise of your bank or financial institution requesting that you “updated their files” so they can mail you your new credit or debit card. Naturally, what they’re really trying to do is steal your personal financial information — either by you completing the emailed form or clicking a link in the email that would download malware to obtain it. It’s just the latest in a series of identity theft scams to hit the Boston North Shore economy.
Protect yourself as best as possible by knowing these tips:
- More likely than not, your bank will automatically send you your new card by mail. If you don’t receive it, call them and request it.
- Banks and financial institutions rarely call you on the telephone to request information of a confidential and sensitive nature about your checking, savings or loan accounts.
- Don’t click on suspicious email links. If you receive an email that asks you to do so, call your bank and verify it as soon as possible.
If you think you may have already fallen prey to this most recent identity theft scam, don’t panic. Call your bank and notify them of what happened. Report it to the local authorities, the credit bureaus and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.) Lastly, monitor your credit report for any signs of identity theft or anything else unusual.