BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A customer’s account at Kellogg Community Credit Union had thousands of dollars on the morning of Nov. 17, police said. By closing time, it was gone.
“We are looking at over $120,000 dollars,” said Detective Sergeant Troy Gilleylen with the Battle Creek Police Department.
Police said managers at the credit union on 2nd Street told them that they’d been hacked and ultimately transferred $121,000 to an overseas account. They said someone broke into their records, got a member’s name and changed that person’s phone number to their own. When they called to verify the request, they were unknowingly speaking to the suspect.
“They thought it was a request from one of their members who recently moved to the area,” said Det. Sgt. GIlleylen during an interview at the station. “The credit union did proceed, after making their checks, to make that transfer for the customer thinking it was a legitimate request.”
A month later, the owner of the account called the credit union demanding answers, he said. That’s when the managers learned they’d been hacked.
“At this point the detective bureau is looking into the matter,” said Det. Sgt. Gilleylen said. “We’ll probably be looking at assistance from either a state or federal level to look into this more.
He said the victim will be reimbursed once in the future. But these types of crimes spike during the holiday season. He recommends people build a rapport with their local banks so the people there know them by name, face and voice.
“It is extremely important to check your monthly bank statements, your credit card statements,” said Det. Sgt. Gilleyen. “Unfortunately people look to take advantage of others. This is one of the biggest ways that it is done.”