DCU Fraud Q&A: Debit/Credit Card Data Breaches

DCU Member News & Info, Security and Scams

Data breaches are becoming more common. Because of this, we put together a quick Q&A to help answer your questions and provide you with instructions on what to do next.


Q: What is a data breach?

A: A data breach is when someone infiltrates a merchant’s network and steals customer information. This information includes name, address, social security number, card number, and various other types of personal information.


Q: If my card was part of a data breach, what should I do?

A: Come into one of our branches or call our Card Services department to get a new card ordered. Monitor your account for unauthorized transactions.


Q: Where did the data breach happen?

A: We are usually not given the name of the merchant where the breach occurred. However, if the name is given to us, we’ll share that information with our members.


Q: Was the information stolen from Directions?

A: No, the stolen information came from a merchant(s) who did not have proper protections in place.


Q: How do I protect myself when a data breach occurs?

A: The best way to protect yourself when a data breach happens is to get a new card number as soon as possible and keep a close watch on the activity of your account.


Q: My card got shutdown! What do I do?

A: You can stop by a branch, or call Directions Card Services to get a replacement card issued.


Q: Will I get a new PIN with my new debit card?

A: If you choose to have a new card sent out in the mail, a new PIN mailed separately, in an unmarked envelope.


Q: How do I reset my PIN for my debit card?

A: You can reset your PIN by stopping into a branch or through Online/Mobile Banking.


Online Banking

  • Sign in to Online Banking
  • Click on “Messages” located in the top blue bar or click on the “Tools” tab then on “All Messages.”
  • Select “Send Message”

Mobile Banking App

  • Log in to the Mobile Banking App
  • Select “Messages” from the drop-down menu
  • Select “Send Message”

Type in “PIN Reset” for the subject line. Make sure to include the last four digits of your new card number and what you would like your unique four-digit PIN to be in your message.


Q: What do I do if I’m on vacation when this happens?

A: You can use shared branching to access your Directions account. We can also send a replacement card (with two-day express shipping) to you with a written and signed request.

We always recommend that you have multiple forms of payment when traveling; debit card, credit card, checks, and cash because your card(s) could not work for many different reasons when traveling.


Q: Who should I contact if I suspect someone has fraudulently used my card?

A: Call Directions Card Services department to determine how to file a claim.


Q: Why isn’t Directions protecting my information?

A: A third party merchant did not have sufficient protections in place to secure their network. Directions cannot monitor the security systems of merchants around the world.


Q: Why didn’t you tell me before you closed my card?

A: We notify our members in a variety of ways.

If you use Online Banking, we will send either an Alert or a Notice depending on the type of fraud that has occurred:

  • Alerts are under the “Alerts” tab. Alerts can also be customized to send a text notification to your phone.
  • Notices are under the “Statements” tab.

We also send out emails to members who have their email address on file. If you have changed your email, please let us know so we may update your file.

If you don’t use online banking or don’t have an email address, we’ll send the notification through USPS.


Q: Why does this happen so often?

A: The thieves and hackers are good at what they do. Most merchant network security is not strong enough to keep them out.


Q: My card has an EMV chip. How does this fraud happen to me?

A: Unfortunately, fraud can still happen on EMV cards if you swipe it, and many merchants still swipe cards.


Q: What else can I do to help keep my account safe?

A: Link your Directions card to a mobile payment tool such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay apps. These apps utilize a token payment system that does not share account number information with the merchant.

For extra credit card protection, we recommend signing up for Verified by Visa. Visa offers comprehensive fraud protection, but Verified by Visa goes even a step further, adding an extra layer of security when you enter credit card information online.