Patelco credit union $500-limit after cyberattack frustrating customers

Patelco credit union, which experienced a cyberattack last month, is limiting its customers to withdrawing $500 at a time, frustrating many who need to make payments that are much more than that. 

"This is the worst time for it," Carlos Garcia said on Tuesday, as a line snaked around the branch in San Leandro. 

He said he needs to access more of his money to make a final payment on a house, which is in escrow. He said he couldn't get the keys otherwise. 

"I've got to make this payment, or I'm going to lose my 20%," he told KTVU. "$500 is not enough. I need to make some big payments."

The company, based in Dublin and which has 500,000 customers, did not specifically state how much customers could take out on its website, where it acknowledges that its credit union fell victim to a ransomware attack on June 29. 

The company said a hacker illegally broke into their systems, blocked access to some of the company's computer infrastructure and then demanded ransom to fix the damage.

The company said their online banking and mobile app systems aren't working right now and that customers can't use the app or use Zelle, either. Over the weekend, Patelco said their network was "stabilized" and some transactions were being processed.  

Patelco wrote on its website that the credit union has a cybersecurity forensic firm helping to investigate the hackers and recover all of its systems. 

Patelco said they have no evidence that anyone's money was taken. 

Since the cyberattack, customers have been showing up to various Patelco branches – and they have many questions about what happened. 

"Why weren't there security measures in place to prevent this in the first place," Dawn Adams asked aloud on Tuesday in San Leandro, where a Patelco employee was handing customers bottles of water. "Where was the team from Patelco? It's just a horrible thing if your money was here."

Adams said she has a mortgage to pay and being allowed to only withdraw $500 just "won't cut it." 

Evelyn Temple was  in line to check on her accounts so she could be sure of her balances.

And while she was concerned, she was also taking the issue in stride. 

She said she always keeps a second account, so she figures she'll be OK. 

"If you don't have a spare tire you're going to get trapped," she said. "What's that saying? Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

The Patelco credit union in San Leandro. 

More than a dozen customers were waiting in line at the Patelco credit union in San Leandro following a ransomware attack. July 9, 2024. 

More than a dozen customers were waiting in line at the Patelco credit union in San Leandro following a ransomware attack. July 9, 2024.