Extension offers tips for chip credit cards

Published 3:09 pm Thursday, November 19, 2015

Credit and debit card holders will have an added measure of safety this holiday shopping season in the form of an embedded chip that makes the cards difficult to counterfeit and protects consumers from fraudulent transactions. 

Millions of new cards will be issued in the coming years as the old ones with magnetic strips are slowly phased out.

 “Consumers who receive cards encoded with the new chip technology from their credit card companies should welcome this latest development as a further safeguard against credit card fraud,” Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist Travis Mountain said. “But with new technologies come new challenges and there are certain things consumers need to be aware of.”

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Mountain offers these recommendations for using the new cards:

Even though these cards are safer, the new technology does not prevent fraudulent transactions that may take place online or over the telephone. It also will not prevent someone from using your lost or stolen card.

Be aware of phishing scams. Consumers may receive phone calls or emails from individuals claiming to be from a credit card company who want to verify personal information on the new cards.

Because information on your card has changed, make sure you update any automated payments you have established. If you don’t update this information automatic payments may not be processed.

For added security, some card issuers are providing joint and authorized users of a card a different credit card number.

The chip creates a unique code for every transaction, preventing someone from using a copied version of your card.

When using the new chip card at a retailer with the new readers, you must insert your card into the reader and keep the card in the reader until instructed to take it out at the end of the transaction.

As the holiday gift-giving season picks up, allow time and patience when you break out the plastic. Cashiers and consumers who are not familiar with the new process will likely lengthen the checkout process until everyone gets familiar with the new technology.