Debit & Credit Card  Compromises

It's natural to be concerned when a major merchant announces that they have identified unauthorized access to customers' credit and debit card data. Fortunately, in typical card data thefts, less than 5% of stolen card data is actually used fraudulently. However, if you hear about a card breach that may affect you, it’s important to be informed about what to do.

What should I do if I shopped at a merchant that has been compromised?

Monitor your accounts closely for any unauthorized transactions. This can be done at any time in Web Branch. You can also set up a Notification that will send you an automatic alert if your accounts reach a certain balance. For another monitoring option, sign up for Visa’s card protection and activity alert service, by Visa.

What does UW Credit Union do to protect me?

Our fraud detection system tracks card usage and reports suspicious activity in real-time, seven days a week. When a compromise happens, we can quickly identify which cards were used at that merchant during the breach time period. We then implement fraud strategies designed to block certain types of transactions that appear suspicious. This helps mitigate the risk of fraudulent transactions going through and appearing on your card. If we see a suspicious transaction through our monitoring systems, we will contact you to verify that transaction. If it was unauthorized by you, it will be blocked and we’ll reissue your card. Additionally, we offer members the option to have their card reissued if fraud is suspected, at any time.

How can I protect myself from having my data stolen?

Although it is nearly impossible to predict merchant compromise, there are general fraud tips that can help prevent theft of your personal data.

  • Don't share personal info such as Social Security number, passwords, user IDs and financial account information with anyone even if they claim to be someone you know or do business with. Ask for and verify a callback number.
  • Immediately delete text messages from numbers or people you don't recognize.
  • Be wary of mass emails asking for money or that send you to suspicious websites. Don't click links within emails you don't recognize.

Also, be skeptical of scams that try to trick individuals into disclosing personal information. In fact, scams often increase in frequency when a card compromise or other major media event happens. Fraudsters target a broad audience using phishing (email), vishing (voice) and smishing (text) attacks, falsely telling recipients that their account has been compromised and to verify account information. These solicitations should be ignored.

Please remember that legitimate financial institutions will never ask you for your account information, password or PIN over the phone, email or text message.