(BPT) – You may have already received your new credit or debit card equipped with a microchip. If you haven’t received your new chip card, you most likely will by the time your card expires. The EMV chip technology is intended to help reduce debit and credit card fraud, and thanks to a collaboration between America’s payment networks and card-issuers, you’ll see many more merchants using EMV-equipped card readers over the coming months.
Chip-enabled cards store the same basic information that’s already in the magnetic strip on the back of your card, such as the card number and expiration date. They add a layer of fraud protection by producing a single-use code to validate every transaction. While EMV technology is intended to reduce card fraud, it’s still important to be aware of how fraud happens, what you can do to prevent it and what your card-issuer does to help protect you.
“Fraud prevention is a partnership between cardholders and the bank,” said Pam Codispoti, president of Chase Consumer Branded Cards. “By working together, we can help customers keep their accounts safer and more secure.”
Chase offers some tips to help you stay alert to fraud while you holiday shop and in the New Year:
* Keep your contact information, including phone number and email address, up to date so the card issuer can contact you quickly if they detect signs of fraud on your account.
* Review your card agreement to be sure you understand what anti-fraud measures the issuer takes. For example, Chase uses specialized monitoring tools to keep an eye on your account 24/7.
* If your card company or bank offers it, sign up for account alerts to monitor your finances and keep your accounts safe. Most issuers will allow you to choose to be alerted to any unusual account activity via text, email or phone call.
* Review your statements every month to ensure all charges are accurate and authorized by you. If you spot a charge you don’t recognize, contact the card issuer or bank immediately. With the shift to greater use of EMV technology, if fraud occurs on your account and you have a chip-enabled card, the merchant will be responsible for the costs in most situations. Also, banks like Chase offer zero liability protection – you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
* Monitor your credit reports. Although you’re entitled to a free report from all three major credit bureaus once a year, checking your report more often can help catch signs of fraud earlier.
* Opt for secure paperless billing. Theft of paper documents, such as from your mailbox or trash, is still a top way fraudsters obtain information. By going paperless, you eliminate an opportunity for someone to steal your statement and get your account information.
* Switch to secure online or mobile payments to help protect your account information. Online payments add layers of security to your transaction and can help ensure you never miss a payment.
* When using your card in a store, never allow the card out of your sight. If you have to enter a PIN number to use the card, be aware of who’s standing around you and shield the keypad from view when you type in your PIN.