New account ID theft is up 113 percent and it’s because of “better” security

You’ve probably heard about the EMV chip you’re seeing in new credit cards and debit cards. It’s a little metallic computer chip that’s making your transactions at retail locations much safer. But, as it turns out, there’s a serious downside to these cards: ID theft.

In the past, hackers stole the information that was saved on the black strip on the back of your card. Once they stole it, they could use it over and over to buy things.

The EMV chip is a lot more secure than that, which is great for your security. Each transaction gets a unique transaction code. So, even if hackers were able to hack into your card, it wouldn’t do them much good since each transaction has a unique code.

Frighteningly, because EMV is making it tougher for criminals, they’re resorting to new ways to steal your information. One of those ways is new account ID theft, which is up 113%, and accounts for 20% of fraud losses, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.

“Fraud is evolving at a frantic pace, although the amount of fraud has been relatively flat over the past four years,” said Al Pascual, Senior Vice President at Javelin, in a statement. “This just shows that when the industry cracks down on one type of fraud, criminals quickly shift their attack vector and area of operation.”

Note: Don’t let thieves steal your ID. Keep reading for easy tips to protect your identity.

New account ID theft works this way. Criminals are gaining access to your personal information because of weak passwords, smartphone vulnerabilities and data breaches.

Worse, some criminals are stealing your ID directly from criminals who get hired as bank tellers. Javelin Strategy & Research says that banks have become lax in their hiring standards for tellers, since so many transactions are now done electronically. In fact, a bank teller in New York, who also worked for an identity theft ring, recently stole $850,000 from customers.

The ID thieves use your personal information to get credit cards in your name and open up lines of credit. So, how can you protect yourself from ID thieves?

First, make sure you use strong passwords with long, complicated, combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Second, make sure your devices are protected with an Internet security system.

Third, make certain that you’re using an identity theft protection service. We’re not just talking about a credit monitoring service. While there is value in keeping an eye on your credit report, you want someone who can help you recover your ID when the worst happens.