New credit card security feature could leave you vulnerable if you’re not careful

AP Graphic

Nowadays, practically every credit card has an embedded chip that contains encrypted digital data about you.

They’re designed to help safeguard your identity, but that same technology could leave you vulnerable to fraud.

Recently a Chicago man claims the chip on his card fell off. His bank told him he needed to get a new card with a new number since that chip could be used on another card.

Kelly Ueoka, president of Pacxa, a Hawaii company that specializes in information technology and data security, explains why.

“Hypothetically, they could forge that (chip) onto another card, go to the store and use it like their own. Although I would note that it is extremely difficult to do that,” he said.

Ueoka says losing the chip is the same as losing your credit card.

“It would need to be forged, meaning you would need to have a credit card, exact same shape and size of one, and be able to put that chip into that forged card, which it would take a professional to do that,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Hawaii Bankers Association says there have been no reports of chips falling off here in Hawaii, and instances of it happening are rare.

The Hawaii Better Business Bureau offers the following tips:

  • Pay close attention to the chip on your card.
  • If it’s missing or looks damaged, report it to the card issuing agency immediately.
  • Avoid exposing your card to unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Always monitor your credit card and bank statements for any irregularities.

“We always tell consumers it pays to be vigilant when you’re dealing with your credit cards, your personal information, anything like that, and that’s what can lead to people getting a hold of your information,” said Jason Kama, Hawaii Better Business Bureau director of marketing.

Ueoka emphasizes that while this latest incident might have some questioning the new technology, he says it’s significantly helped protect consumers from fraud.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or send an email to

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