MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) – Prospera Credit Union was hit with a credit card skimming attack last week, and other credit unions are also investigating skimming incidents at their ATMs as well.
“I know we have ours in Neenah, and there are a couple [of] others in Menasha,” Officer Joe Benoit of the Neenah Police Department said. “In the four years I’ve been with Neenah, this is the first time I’ve been made aware of a skimming device actually seized.”
Due to the ongoing investigation, Benoit could not say what the locations of the credit unions were, but Prospera Credit Union confirmed one of its locations and three of its ATMs were involved and that the investigation is going well so far.
“On the night of the 24th, in collaboration with the local police departments, we were able to apprehend the suspects,” Prospera Credit Union risk manager James Guard said. “We have identified the cards that we believe were compromised throughout this time period. We were able to have them all shut down and notify our members of the compromise of the cards. We have ordered them new cards as well.”
The cards that were compromised had “small transactions” made, but Guard was not able to say how much money was involved or how many cards were. He also was unable to say whether the suspects were employees of the company or outside community members and how they were caught.
Prospera is refunding impacted customers and is looking to enhance its security measures further. Currently, the ATMs receive a thorough inspection once per week while an employee looks them over daily.
“Typically, it’s daily, the actual inspection is weekly, but every day there’s someone who is looking at the ATMs to make sure they’re safe and secure,” Guard said. “We are currently looking into further software or things and tools that we can use to detect the skimmers in the future.”
Skimmers can go undetected because they are often small and not visible, so in order for customers to catch them themselves, they need to be alert for other clues.
“Check out the ATM. Does it look different? Does it look like there are things on it that maybe shouldn’t be there? Is it hard for you to put your card in the acceptor? Is there a tug or a force there that is not normal?” Guard said.
“If it looks like it’s rickety, or the card doesn’t go in as smooth as it should, physically examine it to see if there’s anything unusual,” Benoit said. “It’s a reminder that people need to pay attention when they’re using ATMs.”
Benoit said that those clues go for any monetary transaction machine, such as gas stations and stores, not just ATMs.
Because this was a physical tool used to collect credit card information and PIN numbers, and not a cyber security attack, all other information in Prospera’s systems is safe.
“There was no direct access to any Prospera systems, so any information in our systems is safe, it is secure,” Guard said.
Guard also said another tip when using an ATM is to cover the PIN pad.
“Cover the pin pad. It may seem silly, but if there are cameras watching the pin pad, they won’t be able to get your pin that way.”