Merchant Data Breaches

Merchant Data Breaches

Every once in a while, you'll hear about a merchant who experienced a data breach on the news—resulting in thousands or millions of compromised credit and debit card numbers. You might be wondering: How does this happen? Who’s behind it? How will I be protected if this happens to me? Are there any precautions I can take?

We’re here help keep your money and your information safe. So, we’ve got some answers for you!

What exactly is a data security breach, and how do they happen?

A data security breach occurs when there’s a chance that sensitive or protected information was viewed or stolen by someone who shouldn't have. They can do this accidentally or intentionally.

A merchant's system can be compromised by hackers or by malware that’s designed to access customer information. Retailers have anti-malware software, but sometimes the development of new malware outpaces the measures put in place to prevent it.

What happens to the stolen information?

When a card number is stolen, it's often used to create a counterfeit card. The information can either be used directly by those who compromised the data, or sold to a third party that creates the counterfeit cards. These cards can then be used to make purchases using your funds.

This is becoming rarer as chip cards and readers become more and more prevalent.

What do I do if I see fraudulent transactions?

You should immediately block your card to prevent any further charges. Once the transactions settle you can dispute them in the app and order a replacement card.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent fraud from happening to me?

  1. Keep a close eye on your transactions. If you keep your push notifications turned on, you’ll be immediately notified if an unauthorized transaction occurs.
  2. Learn how to block your card so you can take action right away if you see anything suspicious.
  3. Your card information can also be compromised when shopping online, so read up on how to stay safe. The Department of Homeland Security has some great tips.

What is Simple doing to protect my information in the future?

We actively monitor information surrounding data breaches so we can proactively replace your card (if necessary) and reduce the risk of fraud.

Check out our Security article for more information about how we can work together to keep your information secure.

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Actions we may take if fraud is suspected

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We may freeze and close accounts
We may freeze and close accounts if fraudulent activity is suspected, including the following circumstances:

We will report fraud attempts
We are responsible for reporting fraud attempts to authorities, including attempted unemployment fraud. There are state and federal penalties for unemployment insurance fraud (including potential fines and incarceration). If you suspect you are a victim of unemployment fraud, contact the appropriate state fraud hotline listed here.

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