Des Moines Police Officers' Credit Union Blog

3 Important Tips to Battle ATM Skimming Fraud

Joey Czellar

Joey Czellar

ATM skimming fraud has become a big issue in Central Iowa. The transition to EMV chip cards will eventually help reduce the value of personal card data by fraudsters and illegal cloning of cards that results from skimming, however that migration will take time.

In the meantime, here are three important tips to help you battle ATM skimmers:

1 – Give it a tug: ATM skimmers are often hidden in plain sight. A commonly seen ATM skimmer is a card reader overlay, which may be attached with something as simple as scotch tape. Wiggle the card reader before you insert your debit card. If the card reader is loose or comes off completely, this is a major warning sign that something is wrong.

2 – Check your machine & surroundings: After checking the card reader, you should give the entire ATM machine a complete, thorough scan with your eyes. Look for anything that seems out of place. Fraudsters often use hidden cameras, keypad overlays and holes drilled to install an internal skimmer, which is usually covered with a sticker or panel. This would also be a good time to give a quick glance over your shoulder to make sure someone isn’t watching you or the ATM.

3 – Use your hand to cover your PIN: While the information on the mag stripe on the back of a debit card is important, so is accessing the PIN number you enter on the keypad. Hidden cameras are sometimes installed at an angle that will give a perfect view of the keypad. To battle this threat, cover your hand over the keypad when entering your PIN.

Bottom line, if you see something out of place, you should say something to an employee of the bank, credit union or business where the ATM is located. Remember, that skimmer is a piece of evidence.  Leave it alone or have an official handle it carefully.

Source: SHAZAM Network

Answers To Your Questions About The City of DSM 457(b) and 401(a) Deferred Compensation Plans!


Peter Hill
Vision Financial

By Peter Hill, Vision Financial

City of Des Moines Employees & Retirees,

You have received recent communication from city hall that the city has chosen Nationwide to be the single provider to administer its 457(b) and 401(a) deferred compensation plans. I’m sure you have many questions such as:

  • Does this impact me since I am retired? YES
  • Can I leave my money where it is and just change future contributions? NO
  • Can I continue to use my current advisor even though the plan will move to Nationwide? NO
  • Can I opt out of this since the 457(b) contributions are mine? NO
  • Will there be any cost or fees to move the money to Nationwide? NO
  • Do I have to sign anything for this to happen? NO
  • How does Nationwide know how to invest the money? Money will be placed into a Target Date Fund that is nearest your 65th birthday – after a short time you will be able to re-direct if you wish.
  • How can the city do this? They own the plan
  • What can I do going forward? Talk to your advisor or Nationwide

Sometime in early 2017, all money from existing City of Des Moines deferred compensation plans will be moved to Nationwide’s 457(b) and 401(a) plans. I’m sure you will want to discuss this with your existing financial advisor and I encourage you to do so. If you don’t have an advisor that you are working with or you want further advice and guidance, you can contact JD or I at the Des Moines Police Officers’ Credit Union.

We have been holding regular office hours since 9/1/16, and we can meet you here or our other office in Des Moines.

We are at the Credit Union on:

Tuesdays from 11:00am – 3:00pm
Thursdays from 8:00am – 12:00pm
Fridays from 8:00am – 12:00pm

You can call the credit union to schedule a time to visit with us at 515-243-2677 or our office at 6000 Grand Ave, Ste. V, Des Moines, at 515-243-2222. Or, you can email either office at: or

You can check us out on the credit union’s website under the “What We Offer” tab and scroll down to Financial Center or click here:

Look forward to visiting with you!
Peter Hill, Financial Advisor


Securities and investment advisory services offered through Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (member SIPC)
Vision Financial Group is not a subsidiary of, nor controlled by Voya Financial Advisors. Des Moines Police Officers’ Credit Union is not affiliated with Voya Financial Advisors.

Investments are not NCUSIF Insured; are not deposits or other obligations of the financial institution; not guaranteed by the financial institutions; are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal invested.

International Credit Union Day

Joey Czellar

Joey Czellar

By Joey Czellar, Member Experience Officer

Today, Thursday, October 20th, we take the time to celebrate because it’s International Credit Union Day! This day is important to us because it’s a chance to not only look at where we have come from, but where we are going and how we’ll get there.

Today is a day to reach out and continue to educate our members on the benefits of being a Member-Owner of the credit union, and a day to have some fun! After all, International Credit Union Day ultimately is about you, the Member-Owner.

We celebrate today because we are able to regularly meet and exceed your expectations of a financial institution. Our goal is to provide you the right accounts for your needs (not put you into fake ones), great loan rates on your new cars or toys, and exceptional service in an ever-changing financial market.

We know that many of you have multiple accounts at multiple financial institutions, and we do too. However, our goal is to become your number one stop for your financial needs. From the upgrade to the EMV chip card technology to our mobile banking app, we make an effort to stay current with the latest and greatest technology around, all for you!

In the near future is another day that we as a credit union celebrate. November 5th is Bank Transfer Day—folks who hold accounts at a bank show their support of the credit union difference by moving their accounts. In light of recent events involving a certain bank known for their horses and wagons, now is a great time to consider moving your accounts! If you aren’t fully invested in your accounts with Des Moines Police Officers’ Credit Union, this is a fantastic time to do so!

From our humble roots in the Des Moines Police Station to the current branches on Court and the Federal Building downtown, to the merger with Polk County Schools Employee Credit Union and beyond, our vision is this:

“We will continue to provide exceptional, personalized service through a full array of financial products, working with our members and strategic partners to uphold our historically strong financial position for years to come.”

Today is a day we get to proudly say we are all Des Moines Police Officers’ Credit Union Members!




New Card Designs & Features!

Introducing our new EMV Card Designs!

Not sure what “EMV” means?  Check out Joey’s blog post below!


Debit Card


Classic Credit Card


Gold Credit Card


Platinum Credit Card


Gold Rewards Credit Card






Platinum Rewards Credit Card


EMV Card Basics

Joey Czellar

Joey Czellar

By Joey Czellar, Member Experience Officer

As the official issue date of our EMV cards draws closer, I wanted to take a moment to address some questions surrounding the EMV cards. We’ve had numerous questions come up since the cards were first announced. Some of those questions include:

  • What is an EMV card? How is it different than my current card?
  • Why are we getting new cards? Can’t I just use my old one?
  • What does the chip do for me?
  • When will I get mine?

First and foremost, as member-owners of the credit union, we want to provide you with the best products and services we can offer. One of our primary goals as a member-driven financial institution is to provide exceptional member service at all times. One avenue we can accomplish this goal is to protect our member-owners when using debit and credit cards by issuing EMV chip cards. While we cannot provide a comprehensive list of all possible questions, we do our best to answer them as they come up. With that said, let’s take a look at some EMV chip card basics.


  • EMV stands for “Europay, MasterCard, and Visa” and is named after the developers of the chip card technology.
  • An EMV card is embedded with a microprocessor chip that stores and protects cardholder data at chip-enabled terminals (more on this later).
  • The EMV cards have a noticeable difference, namely the chip embedded in the face of the card. Outside of the visual difference, there are a number of features contained within the chip that provides additional protection to our cardholders.
  • Most financial institutions have already started issuing EMV cards. The driving force behind the nationwide adoption of the chip cards is to help combat fraud and protect cardholder information via encryption.
  • As we transition into a new era of cards, here at Serve Credit Union we want to make that transition as smooth as possible. This past year we’ve done a fair bit of work in anticipation of the EMV cards and we are excited to near the end of this project!


  • Chip cards have been around for approximately two decades, so the technology is new to us, but is well established.
  • The EMV card increases security at terminals equipped to handle reading the chip. When purchases are made at these chip-enabled terminals, a process takes place to verify the card’s authenticity during the transaction which makes it more difficult to counterfeit.
  • The chip protects the cardholder’s information at the terminal. While a common occurrence with non-EMV cards, the chip helps reduce ‘card-present’ fraudulent transactions. In plain terms, some fraudulent transactions occur because a copy of a card was manufactured, and this will help reduce this amount.
  • Card authentication methods provide security through cardholder verification. If you currently have a debit card, you are familiar with this step because you have a PIN number. In addition, EMV chip cards also encrypt the transaction data and PIN number, creating a more secure “transaction environment.”


  • Be conscientious of what card and chip terminals look like. Your EMV chip card still has a magnetic strip (to remain backward compatible) but this can still be compromised via skimmer devices.
  • Card information can still be compromised via online shopping portals, unfamiliar websites, and the like. Be careful when shopping online and never enter card information into websites you do not recognize.
  • If you notice suspicious activity on your account, contact our office at your earliest convenience.