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This past February, we were informed VISA® Check Cards (also known as debit cards) used by several hundred UFCU members, along with those belonging to patrons of other credit unions and banks, may have been compromised in a security breach at a local merchant. UFCU immediately contacted each affected member by phone and, in some cases, by mail to alert them of the situation and to inform them we had deactivated their debit cards to prevent unauthorized charges to their respective accounts. That evening, two UFCU branches remained open late to permit affected members to immediately replace their potentially compromised cards.
Criminals may perpetrate debit card fraud by placing a card skimming device on point-of-sale terminals that captures Debit Card magnetic stripe data and each associated four-digit PIN number. Using the captured data, criminals then manufacture fraudulent Debit Cards subsequently utilized at ATMs to steal money from individual’s accounts.
Most members benefit enormously from the convenience of using Debit Cards rather than writing checks or carrying large amounts of cash. By following these guidelines, you can avoid this and similar Debit Card fraud schemes:
You will need to continue to use your PIN to withdraw cash at ATMs. National ATM networks require all member banks and credit unions use fraud prevention technology that encrypts your PIN as soon as you enter it into the keypad, making ATMs a secure environment. Of course, always be mindful of your personal safety. Avoid ATMs in dark, secluded environments. Avoid any ATM or point-of-sale device that appears broken or that shows signs of having been altered. Trust your instincts. If something looks unusual, report it to the ATM owner and use a machine with which you are comfortable.
We know UFCU members appreciate the convenience afforded by electronic banking services, so we continuously strive to maintain the integrity and security of electronic delivery channels. As always, thank you for your membership and business!
Tony C. Budet