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Wednesday 22 May 2019
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No customers affected in Freeport Scotia ATM fraud attempt

SCotiabank TT managing director Stephen Bagnarol has assured that no customers have reported their accounts being affected.

This came after a video showing police dismantling an alleged recording device designed to steal personal identification numbers (PINs) from one of the bank’s automated teller machines (ATM) in Freeport went viral on local social media on Thursday.

Bagnarol, who spoke to Newsday briefly during a break at the American Chamber of TT’s Women’s Leadership Conference yesterday at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, said it was the bank’s own security that had detected the device and alerted the police.

“Our security teams visit our ATMs every day. They went (to that branch) during the day and then went back at night and they found it, so that thing was recording for a couple hours,” he said. A Scotiabank TT representative confirmed to Newsday that the events in the video took place on Thursday.

It was the first time the bank had experienced this problem, he added.

The video shows a supplemental police officer dismantling the alleged recording device.

The perpetrators had created a dummy cover to resemble the vents on the original machine hardware. Taped to it is a phone and other equipment in the video, police said, was designed to record PINs.

Bagnarol told Newsday that the cover of the keypad had been removed. “So make sure that you check that. If you see that is missing that should be an alert for you not to use the ATM or cover your hand when you use it. That’s my recommendation,” he said.

Scotiabank is always very concerned about people’s safety and money, he added, and has policies and procedures to take diligent care of ATMs. The bank also has mobile and online apps that give real-time account alerts. On Monday, 13 new ones will be added to the existing suite, he said.

“Our system works. We are around and we are constantly monitoring to make sure, so I was really happy that security was able to check it.

“All of our machines have anti-skimming, every single one. And with the alerts, now we have a really robust security system. So it’s really good that people watched and are aware,” he said.

The bank said in a release that investigations into the scam are continuing.

(With reporting by RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS)

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