What if Your Debit Card is Compromised?

Smart Solutions • October 2015

You hear it on the news as you’re driving home: A store where you shopped last weekend had a data breach. Information on millions of debit cards, possibly including yours, could have been stolen. But you’re not too worried. After all, they’ve discovered the problem, and your debit card issuer is bound to send you a new one — and aren’t they responsible for any unknown charges? So no big deal, right? Not so fast.

The Reality

It’s true that your bank will likely send you a replacement debit card, if needed. And if it has a Zero Liability policy, you’re protected from unauthorized use.1 But your account may also be blocked temporarily as an added security measure until new cards are sent or the issue is resolved.

Even worse, a data breach can give criminals access to your personal information. And that could lead to identity theft and financial loss. For instance, the criminal could open new credit lines and accounts in your name, leaving you responsible for the charges. So it’s important to take the situation seriously. Below are some steps you can take to protect yourself and get your financial life back on track as quickly and smoothly as possible.

What You Can Do

  • If you are issued a replacement debit card, activate it as soon as you get it, and destroy the old one.
  • Update your automatic payments. You may need to provide your new debit card number, expiration dates, and the CVV code on the back.
  • Monitor your accounts. Watch your bank statements closely for any transactions you didn’t make. Online Banking and Mobile Banking provide a simple way to keep tabs on account activity 24/7. Also request your credit report — it’s free if your account information has been stolen — and report any suspicious entries.
  • Issue a fraud alert with one of the three major credit bureaus, which will notify the other two.
  • Set alerts on your accounts. You’ll be notified when certain types of transactions are made or balances change unexpectedly, giving you a heads-up if someone else is accessing your account.
  • Tighten up your security. Reset passwords and make sure they’re hard to guess; use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also update your computer security.

Moving Forward

Knowing your debit card and your personal information has been compromised can be a scary event. But taking the steps above can help you minimize the potential risk, help keep your finances secure — and keep your life moving forward.

Interested in learning more?


  1. Customers must notify Commerce Bank within 60 days of receiving their FIRST statement with the unauthorized activity.
  • To send an email that contains confidential information, please visit the Secure Message Center where there are additional instructions about whether to use Secure Email or Online Banking messaging.