FBI Warns About the Dangers of EMV Credit Card Chips

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All US banks will replace all magnetic strip cards with EMV chip-based cards by the end of October 2015
The US is finally catching up to the rest of the world as banks are getting ready to migrate most of their customers to EMV chip-based credit and debit cards. While this technology is not new, it is not as widespread in the States and most people don’t know how to particularly use it.

Now, to prevent abuses and better inform American citizens, the FBI has put out a Public Service Announcement (PSA), about the dangers that are still looming over chip-based card users.


While EMV cards are many times more secure over classic cards that used a magnetic strip and the user’s signature to authenticate them, the FBI warns that the presence of the chip does not completely safeguard users from dangers.

The card’s EMV chip, named after the companies that pioneered it, Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, is an advancement in card security technology, mainly because of the famous 4-digit PIN which serves to protect transactions.

Cards with EMV chips are safer, but not 100% safe, FBI warns

Despite this, the FBI warns new EMV chip card users that are going to migrate to the technology this October in the US, that hackers may still be able to steal their data either by installing malware on PoS (Point of Sale) systems or by stealing card details (like before) and using them in online or phone transactions, where the merchant cannot verify the card via a PIN.

Additionally, the FBI also urges new EMV card holders to activate their new cards as soon as possible and reinforces the old advice of keeping your credit card safe at all times, since thieves can use EMV or non-EMV cards in the same manner.

Basically, what the FBI is trying to say is that the same security rules that were applied before need to be applied with the new cards as well, since the new EMV chip and PIN do nothing more than add an extra layer of security, but not fully protect users from all threats.



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