Citizens Bank: Social media reports it was hacked not true; some customers’ cards ‘skimmed’

Published 4:30 pm Monday, March 25, 2024

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By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent

Social media reports on Monday morning that Citizens Bank had a data breach, or that it was “hacked,” are not true, according to the financial institution, but some customers were the victims of “skimming.”

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“On Sunday morning March 24, criminals targeted Citizens Bank ATMs to make withdrawals using fraudulent cards,” the bank reported on its website Monday afternoon. “Citizens Bank systems have NOT been ‘hacked’ or compromised. A limited number of cards were used by the perpetrators that were created using customer card data obtained in the past through a process called ‘skimming’ whereby a card reading device is illegally installed on point-of-sale (POS) terminals, fuel pumps, or ATMs to capture data and/or record cardholders’ PINs.”

Skimmers are illegal card readers attached to point-of-sale terminals or ATMs. The devices gather data off of a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe without the customer’s knowledge. Criminals sell the stolen data or use it for online purchases and the customer is unaware their account has been compromised until they receive a statement or overdraft notice, or have checked their account.

The bank said it has taken immediate action and is contacting affected customers, deactivating compromised cards, and promptly redepositing funds to customer accounts associated with the unauthorized withdrawals.

“We are communicating with law enforcement and providing information that may assist them with identifying and apprehending the perpetrators,” the bank said. “We continue to monitor for suspicious activity on customer accounts. Customers who suspect unauthorized card transactions should contact the bank by calling us at 866-882-2265 or submitting a message using the Contact Us form at

The bank said if a customer has used multiple cards – and not just Citizen Bank cards – at an affected merchant or reader, the potential exists for those cards to become compromised. The bank recommends reviewing accounts for suspicious activity and setting up transaction alerts.