BATT: Don’t panic
By NALINEE SEELAL Tuesday, July 10 2012
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POLICE are working closely with officials of Scotiabank to locate the criminals behind a debit and credit card fraud in which several persons have been fleeced of cash.
And yesterday, president of the Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT) Richard Young, said there is no need to panic as this type of fraud is being thoroughly probed with the help of security systems at various banks.
Scores of debit and credit card owners were the target of criminals who accessed their accounts through a process known as “skimming” — acquiring a person’s Personal Information Number (PIN) for their debit and credit cards via photo/video technology at ABM (Automated Banking Machine) rooms in banks.
Young said the affected card holders have already been identified and are being assisted. However, he could not give details on the amount of cash stolen through ABM fraud but assured that once certain clarifications are made, victims of “skimming” would be reimbursed the sums stolen.
He also maintained that the banking system remains intact despite this type of fraud taking place.
“We have certainly identified the area of breach and moved to close that off. The banking industry is looking to ensure this does not happen again. We have identified secured footage of the people we would like to talk to, so that certainly is a positive,” Young said.
“We are going to be working with the police and another meeting is being planned to go it over to make contact with these people we would like to talk to. So I believe we are on top of it. And I want to reassure the public that it is not a question of any bank computer systems being hacked into or anything of the sort,” Young said.
He also reiterated that customers did not need to panic and that the situation had been brought under control. “My suggestion to the public is that if you cannot access your account either through ATM or internet banking or you see some transactions that you are not aware of please contact your bank and make arrangements to chat with them and in terms of having your card replaced.
On Sunday, Crime Stoppers posted six images in an advertisement seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the men and even offering a cash reward for doing so. The photographs were captured by surveillance cameras inside the banks. Over the past few days bank customers have been targeted by technologically well-equipped thieves.