EMV cards, or cards with chips, are continuing to roll out to consumers and more retailers are finally using their chip readers. The whole point of EMV cards is to cut down on credit card fraud, since the readers use one-time authentication codes that are useless if a hacker gets their hands on them.
So, what effect is this new system having on credit card fraud?
According to The Global Fraud Index, the introduction of EMV cards is pushing fraud away from brick-and-mortar stores and toward online shops. In 2015, online fraud jumped 215%, with 11% of that from October to the end of the year.
Most of the increased fraud targets "digital goods retailers," such as markets that sell games, music and movies. Fraud in that area is up more than 300%. The culprits behind this increase in online fraud are Botnets. Botnets are networks of computers infected with malware that are controlled by cybercriminals. In most cases, the owners of these computers don't even know that their computer is infected.
The challenge, of course, is that cybercrime is very difficult to prosecute. That's what makes it so appealing to hackers and criminals. Since it's difficult to identify where the crime originated, it has become increasingly threatening over the years. In fact, Apple's Steve Wozniak just referred to cybercrime as "the greatest threat since the atomic bomb."
It's a good reminder that you still need to pay close attention to your bank statement for unusual charges. Get some examples of the types of charges hackers could be charging to your card.