ALLIANCE — There is a new “phish and chips” scam that has circulated. The Federal Trade Commission has warned consumers of a racket related to the massive U.S. conversion to EMV chip cards designed to make credit card use more secure in this country.

Many card issuers, such as Bank of the West, have issued or are in the process of issuing new credit and debit cards to their customers. The new cards use EMV chip technology to reduce the chances of fraudsters stealing card information to create counterfeit cards.

With so many new cards moving through the mail, scammers sensed an opportunity. The FTC has warned that scammers have emailed people, posing as a card issuer who needs their personal information in order to send out a new EMV chip card. Scammers ask people to provide personal information or click on a link to continue the process.

Bank of the West has simple advice in regard to this request: Don’t do it!

Bank of the West Fraud Prevention Officer David Pollino encourages customers not to respond to this type of email and to refrain from clicking on any links in this sort of email in his latest blog.

“If you receive an email or phone call about the issuance of an EMV chip card, our advice is don’t respond and don’t provide any information,” Pollino said. “Instead, if you are unsure about the legitimacy of the caller, find your existing credit or debit card and call your issuer at that number.”

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