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ATM Breach

Police on look out for bank scammers

Police today released photographs taken from video footage of two suspects, in the latest of a series of worrying financial crimes involving non nationals and targeted at automated teller machines (ATMs).


Police have released these images of two non nationals suspected of breaching the local ATM system.

Lawmen did not release any details of the alleged crime or the two Caucasian men, who were caught on camera engaging in “skimming”, the illegal practice of cloning ATM cards and capturing personal data from unsuspecting card holders.

This is usually done by attaching a gadget to the machines as a means of getting into bank accounts and fleecing them of their funds.

“We want to advise the members of the public to be extremely vigilant when conducting transactions at automated teller machines. [We] want you to look for strange devices or gadgets that may be attached to the machines when you are making transactions,” warned Financial Crime Unit Inspector Mark White.

He said in recent times police had received several reports of customer bank accounts being compromised, even while the account holders were still in possession of their ATM cards, debit or credit cards.

In expressing strong concern about the practice, Acting Assistant Superintendent Jefferson Clarke revealed that in the past year alone, an estimated $50,000 was stolen from local ATM cards through skimming.

As a result, police have called on Barbadians to exercise greater care when using the banking machines.

White suggested that before cards were entered into these machines, users should look around to see if there was anyone acting suspiciously.

“We also want to encourage people who are using these machines to cover the key pads when entering their PIN numbers into the machines, because investigations show that there is some camera attached to the machine that captures your PIN information. So if you can conceal the number, it would be more difficult for the perpetrators to access your bank information,” added White, who also recommended that people report to the police or the bank immediately, any misuse of their cards and check account balances regularly to determine any unauthorized or unusual transactions.

However, this is not the first time that concern has been raised about ATM “skimming”.

In October 2013, two Bulgarians were arrested and charged in what was described back then as the country’s largest case of ATM fraud, involving about $1/2 million.

In response, the President of the Barbados Bankers’ Association Glyne Harrison had issued a similar warning to customers to be on their guard.

Harrison had also warned at the time that the issue was one to watch out for as the Barbados economy becomes even more open to new markets and the movement of people was made easier.

“From our end though we do have a process that has been in place since we had the last incident with the Bulgarians. We do have a bank anti-fraud committee that sits and reviews these types of incidents and that committee is currently working to identify the compromised customers as well as the compromised ATM locations. They are sort of working through that process to make sure that all those persons who have been affected have been identified,” the banking official had said at the time.

Today, lawmen also urged Barbadians to be on the look out for credit card fraud, following the appearance in court this week of three British nationals and a pregnant Barbadian woman in connection with a $75 000 scam.

White noted that in one case, a fraudulent credit card was used to make purchases in excess of a million dollars for a trip to the island.

“We call on business owners to conduct due diligence as these people who are presenting the cards for photo ID. You must make sure that the photo on the identification card matches the person that is physically standing before you. Sometimes you may need to call the international financial institution to just verify whether or not what is presented to you is legitimate,” advised the fraud investigator.

He said while on the whole the island had seen a decline in fraud and other financial crimes last year, there was at least one instance in which an elderly Barbadian was scammed of $60 000 from an overseas caller purporting to be a relative in distress.

Police also expressed concern at the rising incidence of vehicular theft island wide, while reminding Barbadians to remain on the look out for counterfeit money.

However, on the whole financial crimes plummeted from $12.8 million in 2014 to $4.3 million last year with the number of cases falling from 390 in 2011 to 329 in 2014 and 325 last year, when a 1.2 per cent decrease was recorded compared to the previous year.

23 Responses to ATM Breach

  1. Del Houle
    Del Houle February 19, 2016 at 10:22 pm


  2. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne February 19, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    That camera want upgrading to HD or even better 4K.

  3. Rickie Brown
    Rickie Brown February 19, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    shared! keep re-posting!!

  4. Bruce A Melisizwe-Carnival JetLag
    Bruce A Melisizwe-Carnival JetLag February 19, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    be careful it’s not the same people who were targeting customers in Trinidad a couple months ago!

  5. Hellkat Sweetz
    Hellkat Sweetz February 19, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Two old thieves

  6. Ike Turner
    Ike Turner February 19, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    You want too tell me a bank that wash way in money and charge so much interest on every shite can’t purchase a decent camera shame.

    • Kean Blackman
      Kean Blackman February 20, 2016 at 12:07 am

      akakaka thing fuzzy must be 1 pixel lol

    • Ike Turner
      Ike Turner February 20, 2016 at 12:13 am

      A few years ago a bike was stolen from out side the bank and the guy called the police and you know when the police went too the bank none of the cameras were working and were down for almost 6 months

  7. Ann Szebenyi
    Ann Szebenyi February 19, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    shared this, thanks for posting…

  8. Shaka Philosopha Miller
    Shaka Philosopha Miller February 20, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Come here to steal from my hard working ppl? I hope they are caught by citizens before the police beaten forced to pay back every cent….then lock them up. If they can’t pay back. Too bad…

  9. Jeremy No
    Jeremy No February 20, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I think it would of been better to keep there faces hidden .an now u post there faces u only alter the culprit to be more careful when there preparing to fraud the the bank and poor people.if it was up to me only certain people would of obtain that info .so that u could catch or try hold them in the act.

  10. Cecil P February 20, 2016 at 1:12 am

    @ the north pole the banks know pretty well how the card holders use they card as soon as they see any activity different to the way the customer use that card is block .then the bank will call the customer to find out if he or she was using the card and taking that much money out the answer is always no. that card is destroy the bank will issue a new one . I went on the line to buy some stuff with my card that company wasn’t shipping stuff to the north pole I didn’t realize after I try 3 times that was it the bank freez the card . the bank call me the next day to find if I was doing that transaction I told them yes .I told them what happen in this case I got the card back

  11. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor February 20, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Banks need to invest in better cameras… Also banks need to be more vigilant …. We leave our money with u…. So inspect your atms and make sure they are not being tampered with… Remember u charge us for everything….. As for these 2 old coots… Just note…. If we do see u, we will beat ur asses 1st then call the police…. We r poor ppl trying to keep our heads afloat and u all trying to drown us…. So beware we will protect our assests…..

  12. Cecil P February 20, 2016 at 1:36 am

    when ever you’re leaving the north pole going on a vacation or shopping the bank would always ask u to let them know .because if u don’t tell them. and they see that card is been use out side the country buying lots of stuff chances are the bank may block it because u didn’t let them know .there not sure if it’s you using the card. lots of criminals come to BIM to do they criminal activities because they think Barbados is a easy to getaway with that kind of stuff . many people kicking up a fuss about the fingerprinting the government want to implement .u know what I’m all for it to keep these damn criminals OUT of BIM

  13. Avid Reader February 20, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Thank you for the story. Clarity please on the race are they both Caucasian?

  14. Corey February 20, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Why not show us what the gadgets look like? I am pretty sure that the police have arrested people for these type of crimes in the past and confiscated some of the gadgets usually used in these operations. At least we will know what to look out for instead of saying to out for anything strange, which is relative.

  15. bank on me February 20, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Who gives a damm. I taught u guys actually ment that the banks were scamming people, I was like duhh! Lol…. In this case, keep on scamming “scammin hoods”. These banks run the country and was scamming us barbadians from day one. Its about time they are scammed. I pray that wunna get away, especially from Bim.

  16. jrsmith February 20, 2016 at 9:45 am

    The banks ,is suppose to ,maintain the so call good security, but do they.. they isn’t much the customer can do , if they card is cloned. because in most cases the bank just believe themselves, but they is not as secure as they think they are, for years this form of face blanking, ATM fraud is going on and it looks as though its stll easy to be achieved.

  17. Margaret Brady February 20, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Many North American banks no longer even require that you tell them when you are leaving the country. They can tell (don’t ask me how!) when credit card purchases do not match your usual spending patterns. We recently got an email regarding several purchases that we had not made. All the invalid charges were removed and we did not have to pay. Thank goodness!

    Joel C Payne – I agree they really need to get better cameras

  18. leroy February 20, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Banks may hv to introduce fingerprint scanners

  19. Erika February 20, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    While I agree that we have to take some personal responsibility for our security at ATMs, I would like to think that the banks are having their security frequently check the ATMs for suspicious equipment or activity. I can get these things can happen overseas where ATMS are scattered all over outside banks but here, where most ATMs are attached to the bank, a guard is or should be always in place.

  20. Tom February 22, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Barbados needs stronger border controls to prevent European and other criminals from entering the country. It also needs a surveillance unit to monitor the movements of suspicious visitors.

    Anyone arrested and convicted for fraud, drug or gun smuggling should be given a minimum of ten years hard labour in prison, feed only bread and water and deported after the sentence. The justice system needs to ruthless and brutal with these people, who have no conscience.

    As Bajan living England, involved in community law and order, I well aware of the news about Bulgarian and Polish criminals visiting the UK only to steal.

  21. Alex 3 February 24, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    There are two things to add to this story.
    First, banks went to all the trouble to incorporate chips in debit and credit cards that require a PIN to use. Then they went out and added the swipe/tap feature that negates the need for a PIN.
    Banks will tell you you are only exposed to $50 or $100 US of fraudulent activity but the onus is on you to prove it is fraudulent before they will accept a claim.
    Second, for about $26 on eBay you can purchase a piece of equipment that as you pass by will activate the chip in your cards or in a passport that makes the information on the chip readable on the machine.
    This means your account number and PIN is in their hands and when a passport is involved, they get all your personal data sufficient to steal your identity.
    I strongly suggest people go to their banks and turn back the swipe/tap technology cards for ones that have only the chip.
    For very little money on line or in travel stores you can by foil sleeves that credit cards and passports fit into that block the signals. I recently purchase 6 CC sleeve and 2 passport sleeves on eBay for $7 US.
    Also, practise good situational awareness at ATMs.
    Someone standing around looking casually disinterested in his world around him is likely up to no good.
    Pay Attention!


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