It seems each week we are hearing more and more instances of data breaches that affect your debit card and in turn leave you open to fraud and possible identity theft. Whether the breach is a national chain or a more regional company, cards are getting compromised at an alarming rate. So what do you do if you get that dreaded phone call or text message informing you that you have been a victim? Below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions that our Card Services department receives daily. We hope this will be helpful and informative, but please know if you have any additional questions or concerns FMB’s Card Service and Customer Service departments are more than willing and able to provide whatever assistance you need.
• What does card compromise mean?
Card compromise means that credit/debit card information may have been obtained by unauthorized individual(s). Most compromises involve a criminal gaining unauthorized access to a merchant’s or card processor’s computer system.
• Where did the breach occur?
When a data compromise affecting your accounts occurs, FMB receives information from multiple outside sources such as MasterCard® or law enforcement agencies. Due to the sensitivity of the information, detail specific to the breach is not disclosed to the bank. Therefore, we are unable to provide the name of the merchant or where the data breach has occurred. However, in very large national breaches which affect millions of cardholders, the name is usually made to the bank and we in turn pass that information along to our customers.
• What kind of information was obtained in the breach?
Information encoded on the card pertains strictly to the card, potentially including the card number and expiration date. Confidential information such as personal account numbers, Social Security Numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses and dates of birth are not stored on the debit card. So it is not necessary to close all of your accounts and open new ones but it is important to cancel the debit card and order a new card with a new number.
• How will I be informed that my card has been compromised?
You can be alerted of a suspected breach in several different ways. If we have your cell phone number on file you could receive a text message from our fraud department alerting you of suspicious activity on your debit card. Our fraud department will also inform you of suspected breaches via phone calls and emails. You could possibly receive a letter in the mail from the merchant that was breached informing you that your card information may have been comprised. The best way to catch fraudulent activity on your accounts is diligent monitoring of your accounts through Online Banking, Mobile Banking and reviewing your statements.
• Does this mean someone is using my card?
Not necessarily. If your card is on the compromised list it means that your card number could potentially be used by someone. We like to err on the side of caution, so we suggest that we block your debit card and issue you a new one with a new number. Your new card will be of no expense to you and we can print it immediately for same day pick up or we can mail it to you, whichever is easier for you.
• Will I get a new card? Will it cost me? And how long until I get the new card?
We recommend that anytime your debit card shows up on a compromised card list that you allow us to block that card and issue you a new card with a new number. You will not be charged for the new card. FMB has the capability to print our debit cards in-house, which means that we can print a new card for you immediately and you can pick it up the same day at our downtown Eatonton Branch.
• What can I do to keep this from happening again?
Unfortunately, we have no way of stopping criminals from “hacking” into merchants computer systems. While the possibility of a card being used fraudulently is low, we recognize the inconvenience our customers face when this happens and FMB will assist you in getting fraudulent activity removed from your account.
• What can I do to protect my information in the future?
Always know where your card is, and if you misplace it, call FMB immediately so we can block the card. Never write your PIN on or near the card. Monitor your statement regularly, and if you see activity you didn’t authorize or you don’t recognize call FMB immediately. Never give your card number to anyone over the phone unless you know who you are dealing with. When using your card on the internet, use reputable companies to make your purchases. For added protection, you can set up Online Banking alerts through FMB Online Banking that will notify you about specified activity on your accounts, which can sometimes help identify fraud more quickly. Learn more about FMB’s Online Banking here.
FMB understands the headaches caused by having your debit card compromised and we are here to help when and if it ever happens to you. Please do not hesitate to call us at (706) 485-9941 if you suspect any fraudulent activity with your cards or your accounts. If you need assistance after normal banking hours you can call (800) 500-1044 for immediate support.