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Local Expert Says Newer Credit Cards Can Fight Some Types of Fraud, But…

(File photo.  Credit: CBS3)

(File photo. Credit: CBS3)

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The massive Target data breach that jeopardized tens of millions of accounts this week (see related stories) has many people thinking about credit card security in this country, where a decades-old technology is still the standard.

While we’ve been swiping our magnetic-stripe credit cards, Canada and Europe have been using a chip-and-PIN system — cards with an embedded microchip.

Would that have made a difference here?  Not really.

“There still would have been a risk in terms of compromised data,” says Drexel University professor Dr. Rob D’Ovidio, an expert in digital crime.  He says the chip-and-PIN cards are difficult and expensive to duplicate, but that’s different from what happened to Target, which had its computer servers breached.

“It’s not like the olden days when, if your credit card was used for some fraud, it was because you lost it.”

He says there’s a slow transition to chip-and-PIN in the US.  But no matter what technology is used, he says, it’s a matter of when, not if, these breaches happen.

And he says people have to make sure they are constantly checking their accounts for fraudulent transactions.

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