FBI: New 'chip' credit cards not 100 percent safe

Updated 10/11/2015 5:11 PM

By now, your bank and credit card companies have probably sent you those new cards embedded with a microchip known as an EMV chip.

While the new technology is safer, the FBIs Internet Crime Complaint Center warns it is not foolproof.


The EMV refers to the three originators of chip enabled cards, Europay, MasterCard and Visa.

The new cards send transaction data between the merchant and issuing bank with a special code unique to each purchase, which offers another layer of protection.

The FBI warns that EMV cards can be counterfeited using stolen data and the chip likely won't stop stolen or counterfeit cards from being used for online or phone purchases where the merchant can't see the actual card.

"Additionally, the data on the magnetic strip of an EMV card can still be stolen if the (point of sale) terminal is infected with data-capturing malware," the FBI warns.

Bottom line: Beware.

Justice, finally

It took nine years to bring Michael Romano to trial for the November 2006 shooting deaths of his father and stepmother in their Cary-area home.

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It only took a McHenry County jury about three hours to convict him. Romano, 56, formerly of Algonquin, was found guilty Oct. 1 of gunning down Nicholas Romano Sr., 71, and his wife Gloria, 65, for what authorities say was his hope of financial gain from their deaths.

At the time of the verdict, Nick Romano Jr., who testified against his brother in the 10-day trial, had no comment. He and others will provide victim impact statements when Michael Romano is sentenced Nov. 19.

Nick Jr. did release a statement a day after the Oct. 1 verdict thanking the McHenry County Sheriff's Office and state's attorney's office for their dedication and hard work on the case.

"Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me and my family. The conviction of my best friend and father, Nick, and my stepmother Gloria's killer has been a long time coming. For almost nine years we have been seeking truth and looking for answers," read part of the statement. "On Oct. 1, 2015, we confirmed what we've known for years. We can now move forward and not have to look over our shoulder to see if he (Michael) was coming to get us."


Michael Romano faces a mandatory life sentence.


Jeffrey L. Hirsch, an associate at The Gitlin Law Firm, recently was appointed as Associate Judge in the 22nd Judicial Circuit in McHenry County.

Hirsch, a Woodstock resident who graduated from Indiana University and attended the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, will fill the place on the bench vacated when Gordon E. Graham retired in September.

Hirsch's courtroom assignment is pending.


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