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Effective April 2nd, 2015 Citizens State Bank was alerted to attempted fraudulent activity using the card numbers from some of our customers’ debit cards. As a result, we are currently requiring many debit card transactions to be completed as a “Debit” PIN-based transaction as opposed to a “Credit” signature-based transaction. If you do not know your PIN number, you will not be able to use your CSBNYA debit card for these transactions. If you cannot locate or remember your PIN, please contact the bank and we can help you reset your PIN. We have taken this precautionary step to protect your accounts.

The bank’s records, files, and computer system have not been hacked, breached, or compromised. The bank was informed that the debit card numbers involved in this current fraudulent activity were obtained as a result of the previously disclosed breaches at various national retailers. The criminals used this card information to create fake debit cards, and a group of them went to numerous Wal Mart stores in the Minneapolis St. Paul metropolitan area and attempted to make purchases with the funds from customers’ checking accounts. The breaches allowed card numbers and expiration dates to be stolen, but not PIN numbers, so if a PIN number is required for the transaction to be approved, the criminals are out of business even if they created a fake card that would work for a signature transaction at the checkout.

Several customers who had downloaded the Shazam BoIt$ app to their cell phone were emailed immediately when the first fraudulent transactions occurred. They notified the bank immediately and we were able to cancel their cards and implement the change to Debit PIN-based transactions. The actions taken protected all of our debit card customers from this illegal activity. The bank covered all losses so the few customers who were impacted did not lose any money. Thanks to quick thinking by a couple of customers who used the Shazam BoIt$ app, and the steps taken by bank employees, the amount of loss was thankfully small.

You may be thinking how long will I have to use the Debit PIN option at these stores? We have not made a determination yet. However, this requirement may stay in place until the new “chip” debit cards are issued. The roll-out of the chip debit card is estimated to be about 2-4 months from now.

Please make use of the various free tools we offer to help you keep track of your account and debit card activity. In order to help prevent your debit card number from being stolen by a fraudster, avoid using your debit card for on line purchases and in foreign countries (use a credit card for these purchases if possible). Keep track of and monitor your debit card transactions. If you identify any transaction that you did not authorize, notify the bank or Shazam immediately.

Thank you for being our customer. I am sorry for any inconvenience the above action has caused you. We chose to take quick and effective measures to protect our customers and the bank.



Perry Forst, President/CEO

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