Accounts of more than 1,000 Vancity customers have been compromised after their debit card numbers were stolen while making purchases in Metro Vancouver.

“We found out this morning from Central One, our card provider, that two Vancouver-area retailers have had their card machines compromised as a result of a skimming operation,” Vancity spokesperson Darwin Sauer told CTV News.

Skimming means that criminals swap out or manipulate retail Interac terminals in order to steal account information like PIN numbers.

“This could mean any customer who used those card machines or had their card go through those machines could have had their card compromised,” Sauer said.

A total of 1,200 Vancity customers used their debit cards at the unnamed locations and only two people have notified the credit union about questionable transactions. As a precaution, Vancity has placed limits on the 1,200 cards that may have been compromised and contacted the customers who will need to get new cards.

Vancity has been told that cards from other credit unions and banks were also skimmed.

“Most financial institutions, we're assuming, do what we've done today, which is put limits on the cards and also notify members immediately,” Sauer said.

Vancity serves more than 500,000 members in Metro Vancouver. Sauer said debit card users can help prevent this type of fraud by shielding your PIN when entering it, routinely checking transactions, and changing your PIN regularly.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson