Hundreds have thousands drained from VyStar accounts

Company working to alert affected members, reimburse funds, replace cards

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 500 VyStar customers had a nightmare holiday weekend when they discovered thousands of dollars had been taken from their accounts over the Memorial Day weekend.

Joan Chasteen told News4Jax that in a matter of 48 hours, $4,000 of her hard-earned money disappeared from her account.

“I went to pay for something in the drug store, and I thought maybe I had forgotten to transfer funds or something,” Chasteen said.

She said after being rejected twice at another ATM, she went to the bank only to find out that there was no money in her checking account.

In a statement, VyStar said:

As a normal course of business, VyStar actively monitors our members’ cards for suspicious activity. Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we detected an increase in suspicious activity with a number of our debit card holders which is normal during a long holiday weekend. The number of members affected appears to be less than 1/10 of 1 percent of our 550,000+ members (or about 550 customers).

Unfortunately, this type of activity is not unusual and not exclusive to VyStar. Many financial institutions that issue debit cards also see this type of activity.
As we normally do, VyStar is contacting our members that may have had questionable activity on their accounts. For their protection, we have closed the affected cards and are working to quickly supply replacement cards and reimburse funds as needed.

We always advise members to monitor their accounts closely within our Internet & Mobile Banking system and call us or visit a local branch if they detect any suspicious activity. 

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said thieves are constantly looking for ways to steal money, so it’s important to monitor bank accounts.

“It would be good to check your account at least once a week or even more often than that,” Smith said.

Another tip is to set up an account alert if a certain amount of money is spent. 

Chasteen said she did not file a police report.

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