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Moneys safe

Police are uncertain just how much money might have been

stolen over the weekend in ATM scams.

And while they are still trying to verify the fraud, Barbados

bankers have been telling Bajans their moneys are safe.

Barbados Bankers Association president Horace Cobham

gave the assurance this afternoon against the backdrop of

reports by some bank customers over the weekend that their

accounts had been drained of funds –– and not by them.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY via telephone, Cobham

said while he could not say that the crime would not happen

again, once banks had identified the source of the tampering,

they would take corrective action.

“We want to assure people there is no need to be fearful and

to panic. Crime is getting more sophisticated; so I’m not saying

it won’t happen again, because it happens every day all over the

world . . . and you can’t ever guarantee the crime will not be

committed again.

“But having identified how the crimes are being committed, then

we can put measures in place to prevent them, in the interests

of our clients,” the banker added.

The Bankers Association president said details of the incident

on Saturday were still fuzzy, so he could not say which banks

were targeted, since multiple machines were used to get money

out. He added though that the banks were working closely with

the Royal Barbados Police Force and feeding them information as

it came to pinpointing the source methodology used.

The market head of Royal Bank of Canada further

encouraged clients of all banks to check their accounts to see if

there were any unidentifiable activity, and, if so,

contact their banks.

He stressed: “We want to deal with this issue and identify

the source, but it is also in the interests of our clients to protect

themselves. ATM manufacturers are coming up with new ways

of preventing scamming, but the criminals may change the

methodology . . . . As changes occur, people find new

forms of fraud . . . .

“So clients too must remain vigilant to prevent a systematic fraud

scheme,” Cobham warned.

“Some people when using the ATM’s cover the keypad so

others cannot see their pins. If you are approaching a machine

and something looks suspicious do not use it. People must take

measures to prevent fraud.”

Cobham also noted the banks would enforce further

educational programmes aimed at informing clients on ways to

protect themselves against frauds and identifiable traits.

Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch told

Barbados TODAY that two Bulgarian suspects were

currently in custody assisting police with investigations. This as

authorities in neighbouring Antigua had reportedly nabbed a

third Bulgarian suspect in connection with the Barbados scams.

Welch said that on Saturday, October 5, a civilian noticed

questionable activity taking place in the Wildey, St Michael

area and brought it to the police’s attention. The men were

apprehended at the Grantley Adams International

Airport on Sunday.

Welch said their purpose on the island had not yet been

determined but revealed their capture was not a result of

the Barbados/Interpol link.

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