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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

VERIFY: Yes, credit card chips make your transactions safer than swiping.

These days it’s hard to know what can be trusted. That is why the VERIFY team exists.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — QUESTION: 

What's the chips in credit card and do they make transactions safer?

ANSWER:

The chip allows a one time code to be generated and yes, that makes using the card safer.

SOURCE:

Sean Lanterman at Computer Forensic Services

PROCESS:

Rene Noreen says "Twice now in the past two years I've had fraudulent purchases on my debit card. This didn't happen before without the chip."

She asked us to Verify what is the chip for and if it works?

Our expert for this one is Sean Lanterman at Computer Forensic Services, a company specializing in electronic discovery and forensic analysis.

Lanterman said, "It all depends on how you use the card.”

He says with the old way, swiping a magnetic strip, your credit card information never changes. But the chip generates a new code every time you use it.

"I think a useful analogy is to think of your bank account or your credit card account as a big vault and on the vault you have a combination lock with the chip system that combination lock switches all the time," he said.

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Lanternam says if a criminal somehow steals that code, which he says is nearly impossible, they can’t use it because the it's one time only code.

Our expert says if you give out your card number, expiration date and the 3-digit code on the back of your card over the phone or enter it online, you are not as protected as you are with the chip.

So, we can Verify, yes, the chip is more secure but only when you actually use it.

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