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Scammers, tech problems strike Valley Credit Union ATMs in Billings

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Feb 05, 2024

BILLINGS - Two incidents, including scammers stealing members' money, within the last three weeks have shut down Valley Credit Union's ATMs, leaving customers like Billings resident Heather Peden, frustrated.

When it comes to her money, Peden knows what she likes.

“I like to support the credit unions rather than the banks,” said Peden on Monday.

She's been a member of Billings-based Valley Credit Union for the past two and a half years, but several recent incidents have left her exasperated.

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Heather Peden

“I work past the banking hour so when I try to deposit my checks, I don’t have direct deposit. It rarely takes my check too. The ATMs never working is just a really big pain,” Peden said.

The most recent incident afflicting the credit union's ATMs happened just this past weekend.

“There was an AT&T circuit that went down and unfortunately it took all of our ATMs down. So it wasn’t connected to anything,” said CEO of the credit union, Casey Klein.

Klein says all 10 of their machines were out of commission this weekend but are now back up and running as of midday Monday.

This incident comes on the heels of another more concerning one, just two weeks ago, when skimming devices were installed on three of the credit union's Billings ATMs.

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Casey Klein

“Luckily we were able to isolate it, stop it. We turned off our ATMs for a little while to make sure it didn’t spread,” Klein said.

Skimmers are devices illegally installed on ATMs to capture debit and credit card information and to record PIN numbers.

Klein says Valley's Heights location was the primary focus of this scam, affecting about 100 members out of 37,000.

“Our members didn’t suffer any losses. Basically, we got a hold of them and we got their money back so Valley becomes the victim on this. We just want to make sure our members are protected,” said Klein.

"It’s more and more prevalent, unfortunately. It’s best that people just really pay attention to their account. Use those technologies when you can, put alerts on your account. Just really watch your transactions,” Klein added.

But for Peden, these latest incidents are a tipping point, and she plans on switching to a different financial institution.

“When stuff like this continuously happens, it’s hard to support that,” Peden said.