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Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Sea Island seminar aims to halt identity theft
Grice-H-DeWayne Web
DeWayne Grice

            Financial transaction fraud and identity theft have become a huge issue for consumers and businesses alike.
        According to statistics released by Sea Island Bank, more than 12 million people fall victim to identity fraud annually in the U.S. Because of this, about $26 billion is lost, which averages to more than $5,000 per individuals and $145,000 per businesses that fall victim. In fact, 61 percent of individuals report a misuse of their credit card by an unauthorized party.
        To help educate local residents about the dangers of identity theft and how to prevent it, Sea Island Bank has partnered with the Statesboro Police Department to offer a Fraud Awareness and Prevention seminar at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21 in the main office of Sea Island Bank in downtown Statesboro. The seminar will cover ways to help individuals and businesses become more savvy in helping to prevent financial fraud.
        "Sea Island Bank is pleased to partner with the Statesboro Police Department to offer a presentation on Fraud Awareness and Prevention," said Darron Burnette, president and CEO, Sea Island Bank. "Fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes and we want to do everything that we can to protect our clients and to help them protect themselves. Don't be a victim! Please join us."
        The seminar is free to the public and breakfast will be available, but space is limited. Call Jenna Lawson at (912) 489-9270 to reserve your seat.
        One of the key ways financial institutions and credit card processors are fighting back is through EMV - which stands for Europay MasterCard and Visa. It is a global standard for credit and debit cards equipped with computer chips. This chip technology is used to authenticate chip-card transactions.
        According to the website CreditCards.com, approximately 120 million EMV credit cards have been issued already and that number is projected to reach nearly 600 million by the end of 2015, according to Smart Card Alliance estimates.
        EMV debit cards will roll out at a slower pace. The PULSE 2015 Debit Issuer Survey found that while 90 percent of financial institutions have begun issuing EMV debit cards or will do so by the end of the year, only 25 percent of U.S. debit cards (about 71 million cards) will be chip-equipped by the end of 2015. The percentage of EMV debit cards in consumer's hands is expected to reach 73 percent by the end of 2016 and 96 percent by the end of 2017.
        USA Today reported over the weekend that 13 percent of consumers who received a new chip-enabled card in the mail thought it was because their card was compromised in a breach. This confirms that there is a good bit of confusion about EMV transition, which went into effect Oct. 1.
        What do EMV cards mean for local merchants and consumers? For merchants and financial institutions, the switch to EMV means adding new in-store credit card processing technology, internal processing systems, and complying with new liability rules. For consumers, it means activating new cards and learning new payment processes. Overall it means greater protection against fraud.
        Before Oct. 1, if an in-store transaction was conducted using a counterfeit, stolen or otherwise compromised card, consumer losses from that transaction fall back on the payment processor or issuing bank, depending on the card's terms and conditions. Now the liability for card-present fraud will shift to whichever party is the least EMV-compliant in a fraudulent transaction.
        For example, if your business hasn't upgraded your credit card processing equipment to the new EMV compliant technology and a customer comes in with an EMV compliant card and the card is fraudulent then you, the merchant, will be responsible for the fraud. This is a major shift in liability to the merchant. Understanding and implementing these changes correctly is critical in protecting your business from unnecessary liability.
        I really urge you to attend the seminar on Oct. 21 at Sea Island Bank. It could end up saving you a lot of hassles and a lot of money.

        Please email DeWayne at dgrice@statesboroherald.com or give him a call at (912) 489-9499.

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