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Skimming on ATMs is back

7-Eleven ATMs are the latest targets of card skimming. A recent article reported how criminals set up a skimming device on an ATM machine to obtain members' card information. We advise that you look at all ATMs you use for add-on wires or anything that might look unusual, and don't use one that looks suspicious. For more information, click here:

Security: Avoiding Identity Theft and Debit Card Fraud
By Tim Strenk, Vice President of Information Technology

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States causing many fraudulent charges for the member to deal with. We, at FreeStar Financial Credit Union, want to assure you that our goal is to protect our members’ data. Obviously security is our top priority which is why we take every precaution by following very strict security and compliance guidelines set forth by the National Credit Union Association, NCUA. In addition, we have a system in place that monitors activity and looks for patterns that might indicate fraudulent charges. We also follow strict safeguards when mailing our cards and statements, and verify your identity whenever members call in.

Unfortunately, card fraud can occur from a variety of methods, including data breaches, phone and online scams, phishing schemes, and card theft. Merchants continue to report security breaches that expose millions of debit card users’ financial information to thieves. These individuals don’t want to just steal your wallet and gain direct access to your card, they are looking for something bigger than one individual’s personal financial information. Their goal is to breach merchant databases with outdated encryption security and have access to thousands of records.

While the chances of experiencing card fraud are low, it can still happen to any of us. Therefore, we recognize the inconvenience this has on our members and we do everything we can to resolve the matter quickly and effectively. It is because of this, we have a policy in place that ensures prompt notification and card reissue process as soon as the credit union has been made aware that a merchant data breach has occurred. When fraudulent charges are reported, the card is deactivated and a new card is issued.

If you suspect, you are a victim of fraud:

1) Take immediate action by contacting the store or business that charged your account and let them know of the fraudulent charge.

2) Contact us as soon as possible, 586-466-7800 opt. 4, and your case will be reviewed for immediate action by our staff. You will be required to provide detailed information as well as supporting documentation. 

FreeStar Financial offers identity theft protection for a small fee. Find out more at:

Tips to help protect yourself from fraud:

  • Never give your card number to anyone on the phone unless you made the call to a company you know to be reputable and reliable. We will never contact you to ask for your account information. If you receive a call or are asked to log in to any website, it should be considered highly suspicious.
  • Be cautious when using your cards online. Only enter information on websites you know are secure and you’re 100 percent sure they are legitimate.
  • Shred any documents containing personal information, such as account numbers, addresses, etc., before throwing them in the trash.
  • Watch your statements and compare any charges with receipts saved from your transactions.
  • During any transaction, watch how your card is used and make sure you get it back. When using an ATM, gas pump, or any other self-payment method, look for irregularities. If the card slot looks different, it may have a card skimmer attached used to capture your card information.
  • Record important information about your card and include the phone number to call if it happens to be stolen or lost, so you can report fraud and minimize damage quickly.
  • Carry only the cards you need to have during any outing. This leaves a potential thief to take fewer cards you’ll have to freeze if your wallet is lost or stolen.


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