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Merchant Compromise FAQs

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What is a merchant compromise?

A merchant compromise is an organized theft of ATM, debit card or credit card information. When this happens, it’s usually because of a data breach on the part of a merchant or a merchant third-party processor.

How will I know when a merchant compromise happens?

Bank of America receives information regarding potential merchant compromises from multiple sources such as Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express® and law enforcement agencies. If we believe your account is at risk for fraud, we will attempt to contact you using the contact information you’ve shared with us, so make sure that information is current. If we do contact you, please review and respond promptly.

What steps can I take to help protect myself against identity theft in the event of a merchant compromise?

Here are some proactive steps you can take now to help protect yourself from identity thieves:

  • Review your credit report frequently and carefully by requesting a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from layer
  • Download the Bank of America Mobile Banking app and allow push alerts for more secure communication about your accounts. Review and respond to alerts promptly. Keep your contact information, especially your cell phone number and email address, current. Turn on location services when making a purchase or signing in and allow location-based anti-fraud and security permissions.
  • Create complex passwords and PINs not easily associated with you, memorize them and use multi-factor authentication (for example: a password plus a one-time authorization code) where available. Use a strong, unique password for each of your accounts. Visit the What you can do tab on our Online Banking security page for tips on how to create strong passwords.
  • Equip your computer with comprehensive malware and virus protection software. We offer McAfee LiveSafe™ free to our clients for 12 months; it proactively helps prevent computers from getting or maintaining an infection. Sign in to Online Banking or enroll in Online Banking to take advantage of this special offer.
  • Consider using Trusteer Rapport™ browser-based security software from IBM. It will fix most malware if your computer is infected, and it warns you if you attempt to navigate to a risky site. We provide it at no charge to our clients. (Mac users: Please note that Mozilla Firefox is currently the only browser supported by Trusteer Rapport.)
  • Only download software or applications from well-known and trusted sources
  • Stay current with any operating system and software updates (sometimes called patches or service packs) for your computer
  • Avoid clicking on links from unknown sources found within text messages, online, and in suspicious emails

Various security pages on our site, for example Online Banking Security and Credit & Debit Card Security, contain specific information under the What you can do tab on the page. You should also familiarize yourself with our privacy notices and watch the short Keeping your financial information safe video from Better Money Habits.