CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warns consumers to be wary of scammers trying to take advantage of the millions of consumers who haven’t yet received a credit or debit chip card.
Here’s how the scam works: Scammers email consumers posing as the card issuer. The scammers claim in order to receive a new chip credit or debit card, the consumer needs to update his or her account by confirming some personal information or by clicking a link to continue the verification process.
If the consumer replies to the email with personal information, the scammer can use the response to commit identity theft. If the consumer clicks on the link, he or she may unwillingly install malware on their device, which can cause the device to crash, monitor a consumer’s online activity, send spam, steal personal information and commit fraud.
Morrisey said consumers should be aware of some important information if they receive an email claiming to validate a chip card request:
- There’s no reason your card issuer needs to contact you by email or by phone to confirm personal information before sending a new chip card. Don’t respond to an email or phone call that asks you to provide your card number.
- If you’re still not sure the email is from a scammer, contact your card issuer at the phone numbers on your card.
- Don’t trust links in emails. Only provide personal information through a company’s website if you typed in the web address yourself and you see signals that the site is secure, like a URL that begins https (the “s” stands for secure).
“These scammers can be very persuasive,” Morrisey said. “Our office urges consumers to always remain calm and proceed with extreme caution when giving out financial or personal information through email or phone.”
If you believe you have been the victim of this phone scam, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit the office online at www.ago.wv.gov.
Consumers can stay up to date with the latest scams by signing up for email alerts from our Office at: http://bit.ly/WVScamAlert.