Financial Safety

6 Steps to Handling a Card Compromise

Words by Abbie Dyer on Feb 27, 2019 6:00:00 AM

 It seems like every few days we hear about a new data compromise where debit or credit card information is jeopardized. Compromises are very common around the holiday season but they can occur at any time of the year. So is it time to ditch the plastic and go back to only using cash? Not quite. Having your information compromised can be scary, but it's important to stay calm and actively take steps to safeguard your money.

What Is A Card Compromise?

In the case of most compromises, it means that a group of cyber criminals either hacked into or placed a skimmer device on a merchant’s card processing system. The criminals collect card numbers, expiration dates, and the three-digit security codes on the back of customer’s cards. Once the hackers have the card information, they use it to make purchases. They will continue shopping until the card is shut off or declined for lack of funds.

If your information is compromised, you’ll need a new card. But what else should you do if you are the victim of a compromise?

Shut Off Your Card 

Our powerful fraud monitoring system checks for usual activity on your account 24/7. If we suspect fraud on your account, you’ll probably get a call or text message from our fraud alert system asking you to verify the suspicious transactions. 

In addition, if you check your account in Online Banking and something doesn’t look right, give us a call at 888.267.7200. We'll shut off your card for security purposes and begin the dispute process, if necessary. 

Monitor Your Account

Use Online and Mobile Banking to check your account balances and your recent transactions on a regular basis. And it's always important to look over your monthly account statement. Sometimes criminals charge a small amount on your card to make sure it’s active before they start racking up large purchases. This is a common tactic to see if you notice the unauthorized transaction. If the transaction goes through, a criminal might wait a few weeks before they start making larger purchases. 

Fill Out a Dispute Form

In order to recover your funds, give us a call to file a dispute. Call our main number at 888.267.7200 and follow the phone prompts to file a dispute. We'll walk you through the process and verify each fraud transaction and the date that the transaction occurred. We may also ask you for your current phone number in case we have any follow-up questions.

Remember that your debit cards are covered under the Mastercard® $0 liability policy1, meaning you’re not responsible for any unauthorized transactions if you meet certain terms.2

Replace Card and Change Pin

Call us at 888.267.7200 to order a new card. You can also stop by any Lake Trust branch to have a new card made for you.  

Update Card Information

If you have automatic payments set up with your debit or credit card, you’ll need to notify the collecting company that your card number changed. If your card information is saved in any online payment accounts, like PayPal or your digital wallet, make sure to update that as well. Remember to shred your old card after you get a new card.

Continue to Monitor

Check your accounts a few times a week and verify your purchases. This step only takes a few minutes but it can save you from countless headaches and will help you catch fraud fast.

Rest assured that we're here to help keep you and your accounts safe.

SEE ALSO:  Easy Ways To Keep Your Debit Card Safe At Gas Stations  5 Common Scams That Play Off Of Your Common Sense


1Third party website. Lake Trust Credit Union is not responsible for the content, availability, security or compliance of any linked third party websites. In addition, the site's privacy policies may differ from those of Lake Trust.

2Additional terms and conditions apply. View Mastercard $0 liability policy for specific details about coverage. Transactions must be reported to Lake Trust in a timely manner, but no later than 60 days after Lake Trust sends a statement listing the disputed transactions.


This article was updated on March 4, 2022 to reflect updated information about debit card liability terms and conditions.


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