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Chip and PIN Credit Cards Finally Explained

Chip and Pin Credit Cards Lower Fraud by 700%

It will take at least 5 years for Chip and PIN (or EMV) transactions to make up the majority of retail card processing in the U.S.

  • Most large retailers are likely to implement Chip and PIN technology over the next two years
  • Other technologies, like mobile or electronic wallets (e.g. Apple Pay), could become the preferred payment method over Chip and PIN card technology due to their ease and advanced security.
  • Although Phase 1 (Chip and Signature) will prevent credit card fraud by making credit cards harder to clone, it WILL NOT make them harder to use if they get into the wrong hands. Therefore, continuing to closely monitor our accounts and personal information will help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
  • Phase 2 (Chip and PIN) WILL make credit cards harder for thieves to use, which is even more reason to support the transition to the new technology.

 

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on keeping your organization from becoming the next data breach headline. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

How do I Get Businesses to Ask For Photo ID?

You’ve probably heard that instead of signing the back of your credit card, you can protect yourself by putting the words “Photo ID required” or “See photo ID”.  So we went out to test this method to see if it actually gets people to do that.  I presented my card at various shops (sporting goods stores, frozen yogurt stands, fast food joints…) and filmed the transactions.  In this small sampling, I found five who did not ask for my ID and six that did.

I wonder if you can guess what the difference is between the people who didn’t ask for my ID and the ones who did.  The answer?  I had written “Photo ID Req’d.” on the FRONT of my card (in several places, in fact) in the cases where it was requested and only on the back where it was not.

When you ask for privacy—when you ask for it loudly—people start to pay attention.  Not only do they pay attention, but they start to ask you why you do that and you get to educate them!

Remember also that you can’t just put “Photo ID Req’d” on the signature line.  You need to SIGN YOUR CARD or it means you’ve never completed your contract with your credit card company and they can hold you liable for everything spent on that card once you’ve activated it.

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

Entire Town in Colorado Has Identity Stolen

In a town with a population of about 3,000 people it seems that almost all the citizens of Bennett, Colorado have had their identity stolen. The scheme was simple and it was easy to fall victim. Identity thieves apparently used skimmers to extract credit and debit card numbers from individuals. Skimmer scams can happen when the criminal installs a “skimming” device over the card slot of an ATM, debit or credit card reader. The skimmer then reads the magnetic strip as the user unknowingly passes their card through it.

In the case of Bennett, Colorado it is believed that this was done at a local King Soopers gas pump. The skimmer is gone now and authorities are on the hunt for the thief.  King Soopers has denied that any of the fraudulent activity happened at their gas pumps and authorities have also said that they knew this was a crime spree for the past few weeks. In the meantime, many of the victims who used debit cards are without those funds because its the same as using cash. The average amount stolen was around $700 and more people are coming forward every day.

There are many ways you can make sure that you don’t become a skimmer victim.

  • Make sure that you always use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit card companies are better prepared to handle fraudulent charges and it does not directly affect your ash flow. If you use a debit card, you are losing that cash immediately and have to prove your innocence to get it back.
  • Always examine the credit card machine or ATM where you are sliding your card very carefully. Usually you can tell if it looks funny or has an extra attachment . If you are at all suspicious, don’t use it. Go inside of you bank to withdraw funds until you are comfortable that the ATM is safe, or pay inside of the gas station rather than at the pump.
  • Don’t use your debit card at restaurants, as this is another prime place for theft. Instead, use your credit card and set up credit card account alerts that text or email you immediately when you make a purchase. If’ it’s a fraudulent charge, you will catch it very quickly.
  • Use Cash. This is the simplest way to protect yourself form this type of fraud.

John Sileo speaks professionally on identity theft. His clients include the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and many municipalities that have successfully avoided the types of thefts in Bennett, Colorado by educating their citizens.

Secrets of a Former Credit Card Thief

We’ve all heard the standard tips about preventing identity theft and credit card fraud. But what would a real identity thief tell you if he had the chance? A recent interview with creditcards.com talks to a thief one on one and reveals the secrets behind credit card theft.

Dan DeFelippi, who is 29 years old,  was convicted of credit card fraud and ID theft in 2004. He tells consumers that: You can never be too careful.

DeFelippi, Learned at an early age how to create fake Id’s and he said it went down hill from there. He mostly made fake credit cards with real credit card information he bought online. He would then make fake Id’s to go with them and purchase big ticket items at Best Buy or Circuit City. He would turn around and sell them on Ebay for cash. DeFelippi says committing credit card fraud is still “ridiculously easy to do,” he says. “Anyone with a computer and $100 could start making money tomorrow.”

CreditCards.com: How did you get started?

Dan DeFilippi: When I was in middle school and high school, I was into what I would call innocent hacking. I wasn’t trying to be malicious or make money. I was just interested to see what I could do. In college, I started selling fake IDs to make a little extra money. I was pretty active in online chat rooms where people would talk about this stuff, and I began to realize there was a whole world of credit card fraud where I could make a lot of money with very little effort. From there, it was just a huge downward spiral.

CreditCards.com: You said you bought credit card data online. Tell me about that.

DeFilippi: Every credit card has magnetic stripe on the back with data on it. There are people out there who hack into computers where that data is being stored. There are also people like waitresses and waiters with handheld skimmers who steal the data that way. Then they sell the data online. I’d pay $10 to $50 for the information from one card. Then I’d use an encoder to put that data on a fake card, go into a store and purchase stuff.

CreditCards.com: Do identity thieves like some credit cards better than others?

DeFilippi: Well, a lot of American Express cards have no set limit, so you’d be able to buy a lot more. However, the downside is that a lot of merchants require more security for American Express than for other cards. They may ask you to enter the four-digit code on the front of the card or your ZIP code. That information usually isn’t in the magnetic stripe information. So if a card is skimmed, if someone has its magnetic stripe information, they would still need the number on the front or your ZIP code to commit fraud.

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John Sileo is the award-winning author of the identity theft prevention book Privacy Means Profit and speaks on information control, identity theft prevention and data breach avoidance. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more, contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

Electronic Pickpocket Video – Identity Theft Expert

There is a new wave of Hi-Tech Identity Theft that the average person has no idea is possible. Identity Thieves are able to steal your credit card information without even touching your wallet.

RFID, or radio-frequency identity technology was introduced to make paying for items faster and easier. What many probably didn’t expect is that the same technology can be used by thieves to get your payment information just as easily. All major credit cards that have this technology have a symbol (pictured to the right). It means that your card can communicate via electromagnetic waves to exchange data (your credit card number) between a terminal and an electronic tag attached to an object, for the purpose of identification. With a quick scan of the card, the same way you would scan it to pay for items,  all of your payment information is directed towards a source or identity thief’s computer in this case.

With a laptop and an antenna, it’s possible that a virtual pickpocket can steal credit card information, without ever touching their victim.  All that is needed is a credit card reader that you can purchase online and a laptop computer. With a simple scan the crook can lift your credit card number, expiration date, and in some cases your name. Since 2006 all U.S. passports also have RFID technology so identity thieves are able to scan those just as easily and pick up more personal information in order to rip you off. These passports contain specific contact information as well as date of birth.

The statistics on this type of theft are not available because the detection rate is low and it is so new. There would be no way right now to prove that this method was used over other similar methods that steal your card information. There are a few ways you can protect yourself.

First, set up account alerts and monitor your statements. That way if your credit card is compromised you can detect it immediately and take the necessary steps to contact the bank, report the fraud, and cancel the card. Second there are sleeves and wallets built to protect your cards and make them unable to scan and be lifted. Several companies make products that create an RFID shield by blocking the electromagnetic energy necessary to power and communicate with contactless smart cards, passports, and enhanced drivers licenses.

Before you finish this article, pull out all of your cards to see if they have the sonar symbol above. Even one of these puts you at risk.

John Sileo is the award-winning author of Stolen Lives and Privacy Means Profit (Wiley, August 2010), a professional Financial Speaker and America’s leading identity theft expert. His clients include the Department of Defense, FTC, FDIC and Pfizer; his recent media appearances include 60 Minutes. Contact him on 800.258.8076.