Alleged Fraudster Caught With 8, Not 28,000, BECU Card Numbers
Boeing Employees Credit Union prides itself in proactively detecting and stopping any type of fraud and immediately notifying authorities and working with them to catch criminals.
That’s why BECU was concerned when several media sources, including Credit Union Times, erred in reporting Tuesday that thousands of BECU credit card numbers were traced to the possession of a Russian hacker who was arrested last week by federal authorities.
BECU said Wednesday that only eight credit card numbers had been stolen, and four were used to make under $5,000 in fraudulent purchases. As soon as BECU became aware of this, the credit card numbers were immediately discontinued and Seattle police were notified, the credit union said.
“We take the stance that it is in the best interest of our members to proactively not only to reach out to them but also to reach out to law enforcement to help them solve these cases. In the long run, that is going to help everyone,” said Todd Pietzch, BECU public relations manager.
The Department of Justice reported that Dmitry Zubakha, 25, of Moscow, was taken into custody July 18 in Cyprus and faces extradition to the U.S. to face various computer hacking charges. Zubakha also faces charges of possessing credit card numbers from the $10.6 billion Seattle-based credit union that were used to make fraudulent purchases in 2009.
According to the indictment, Zubakha and his co-conspirator, Sergey Logashov, allegedly mounted a denial of service attacks against Amazon, Priceline and eBay in 2008. The attacks primarily disrupted the Amazon site and the ability of customers to access the site for hours while the company attempted to deal with the attacks from a “botnet,” or web of connected computer, the indictment charges.
The DOJ indictment read Zubakha “possessed credit card track data for over 28,000 credit cards, which included credit card account numbers for accounts established through and issued by the Boeing Employees Credit Union.” However, the indictment did not specify that only eight of those 28,000 credit card account numbers came from BECU.
“Eight of those credit card numbers were identified as belonging to our members and only four of those had any fraud on them,” explained Pietzch. “Once we identified them (credit card numbers) we shut them down, so there was less than $5,000 worth of fraud. The other 27,000 credit card numbers were from other financial institutions.”