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Local CIBC customers' debit cards targeted by criminals in US
By Ken Johnston
It appears that criminals have been actively trying to steal from local CIBC debit card users over the past month or so.
The Record received information from several local CIBC debit card holders that they had their accounts frozen or their cards declined after shopping at Lake of the Woods Foods in Baudette, Minnesota.
That business told the local paper there, The Northern Light Region, that they acted immediately to replace all the hard drives in their cash registers and installed new PIN pads when the problem was brought to their attention about a month ago.
However, three people the Record spoke to said their accounts were frozen as recent as late last week and one person said that he used his card to obtain cash at CIBC, crossed the border and then put gas in at LoW Foods only to have his card declined.
The NL Region reported on March 19, 2014, that the problem began surfacing in early March. “According to (Police Officer)Gary Fish, as of Monday, March 16, law enforcement has received 50 to 60 reports of credit card information theft from residents in Lake of the Woods County,” said the NL Region.,
They also said they confirmed that customers of three local banks in Baudette were affected. Well, add at least one more bank to that list; Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Rainy River.
Local CIBC Manager, Michael Pedri, said he was unable to comment on the record about the issue. However, affected CIBC customers have received electronic notifications that their accounts may have had suspicious activity tied to them and that they need to call CIBC or visit a branch immediately. In most cases they were given a new card and/or a new Personal Identification Number (PIN).
None of the CIBC customers that contacted the Record had any money stolen or unauthorized charges to their accounts. However, in the case of US bank customers the NL Region reported that, “While initial reports showed that most unauthorized charges were made in California, since that time, charges have been reported from multiple locations in states across the country.”
Staff at the Northern Lights Credit Union in Rainy River said last week that they have not had any issues with their customer’s debit cards.
People are reminded to be vigilant in checking their bank information on a regular basis. Any problems or discrepancies should be reported to their financial institution and the police.