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Monday 17 June 2019
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RBC to cheque fraudsters: We know who you are

RBC Royal Bank managing director Darryl White
RBC Royal Bank managing director Darryl White

IT’S not a glitch, it’s fraud. RBC TT managing director Darryl White was clear yesterday that people who try to withdraw money from automated teller machines (ATMs), under the guise of a cheque deposit, are committing a crime and the bank will prosecute perpetrators using “the full force of the law.”

“People have been encouraging others to do this thing because they say there’s a glitch in the system.

“It’s not. We know who you are and we will be prosecuting every single incident. We will recover every cent,” White said.

Even if a customer gives someone else their ATM card to withdraw money using the “cheque advance” option, which gives customers immediate access to cheques they have just deposited, they are complicit in fraud.

Furthermore, he noted, the money is coming out of the customer’s bank account, so it’s ultimately their loss. He said several accounts have already been closed because of cheque-deposit fraud.

“We have a clean paper trail. We have ways we monitor and report to the police. This is something we treat with swiftly. We know who you are.”

Four people, including a 19-year-old woman, will appear before an Arima magistrate today charged with larceny after they allegedly deposited blank envelopes into an ATM and then withdrew cash.

Newsday reported yesterday that four people had appeared before an Arima magistrate charged with committing such bank fraud. Since May 18, an estimated 4,000 empty envelopes have been deposited in the bank’s ATMs across the country.

“Clients who engage in this activity, or who help fraudsters engage in this activity, will not be reimbursed by the bank,” RBC told Newsday in a statement.

In fact, the bank said, it is actively working with the authorities to provide information about the perpetrators, as well as anyone who assisted them. Individuals will be charged shortly and face the full extent of the legal process, in addition to reimbursing the bank for the stolen funds, the statement added.

“All modern-day ATMs are equipped with cameras that record the person using the machine. Additionally, they track every transaction by the bank card and PIN combination used to perform it. This means the identities and images of those committing these fraudulent activities are quickly available. As you know, in the digital age we live in now, everything is monitored and recorded,” RBC said. Unrelated to the instances of cheque fraud, the software that manages RBC’s banking system, including ATMs and point-of-sale transactions, was down for most of Monday. “The software decided to go a bit wonky today,” White told Newsday.

The problem, which began on Sunday night, should have been back to normal by last night, he added. White apologised for the inconvenience to customers, especially since it’s the busy month-end period when salaries and bills are usually paid.

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