Information sessions will focus on cybercrime |

Information sessions will focus on cybercrime

— A series of upcoming information sessions aim to teach businesses and consumers how to protect themselves from credit card fraud.

The sessions are especially timely given the local breach that affected hundreds of consumers in December and January. The breach was traced back to several locally-owned restaurants in Steamboat Springs. A virus had infected point-of-sale systems at the restaurants, and the credit card information was being sent to a host computer in Russia. The restaurants fixed the problem but not before the credit card information was sold on the Internet. Fraudulent cards were then made and used across the country.

Yampa Valley Bank Senior Vice President and Senior Operations Officer Lori St. Pierre said her bank replaced more than 700 cards for its customers, and they saw $30,000 in fraudulent charges.

“We went from having maybe 10 disputes filed per month to over 100,” St. Pierre said.

St. Pierre said reports of fraud have since returned to normal, and the incident provided a good opportunity for her bank to educate consumers and businesses.

Yampa Valley Bank will hold the information sessions on Wednesdays starting April 15. The same sessions will then be held April 22 and April 29.

There will be two sessions offered each Wednesday. The 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. sessions will be geared toward businesses. The 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. sessions will be focused on consumers. Space is limited, and those interested in attending should RSVP by calling 970-879-2993 or emailing

Jon Quinn from Northwest Data Services will be at the sessions geared toward businesses. Quinn helped identify the source of the local breach and fixed it. Topics that will be discussed include the types of cybercrimes that are being committed, and how to protect customer credit card information.

At both the business and consumer sessions, there will also be information about EMV technology that is being rolled out in the United States. Microchips are being put in cards. This helps eliminate the possibility of someone making a duplicate fraudulent credit card.

Consumers can also learn how to protect themselves from cybercrime and learn about common scams.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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