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Rbc Customers Hit In Atm Scam

By Natario McKenzie

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

ROYAL Bank of Canada (RBC) yesterday confirmed some of its Bahamian Visa debit and Visa credit card holders had fallen victim to “skimming”, with some irate customers reporting “thousands of dollars” having been wiped off their accounts.

Jacqueline Taggart, RBC’s director of strategic and corporate communications for the Caribbean, responding to Tribune Business inquiries, said: “RBC confirms that we have identified a skimming incident that has victimised a number of our VISA debit and VISA credit cards in The Bahamas in a coordinated and aggressive criminal effort. We are now in the process of contacting clients who have been affected.”

She added: “To contain this fraudulent activity, RBC has implemented restrictions on all affected VISA cards. We know that at this time of year – with vacations and back-to-school expenses – these restrictions may inconvenience our clients and we will work with them to minimise the disruption. All affected cards will be replaced as soon as possible.”

It is unclear how many people may have been affected by this skimming attack.

Taggart told Tribune Business: “Right now we are still investigating the scope of the illegal activity but we can already confirm that the vast majority of our clients have not been affected.”

Skimming refers to the use of fraudulent methods to obtain customer details by “skimming’ their debit and credit cards at point of use, whether ATM or point of sale.

As to the method in this instance she said: “I cannot say conclusively as we are still investigating, but to-date the skimming has been isolated to ATMs.”

Local entrepreneur Kosha Johnson told Tribune Business: “I discovered the issue through a friend of mine who went into RBC and there was this long line of persons complaining of their accounts being wiped. They told me to quickly check my account where I have a personal and business account. I went online to check and thousands of dollars were gone off my account. It’s saying international withdrawal on my account. This is extremely frustrating, stressful and heart wrenching.”

She added: “I’m a business owner and I have payroll in a few days.They’re telling people it takes 45 days for them to conduct an investigation and get your money back. I’m not being insensitive but for business accounts I think there should be a concession. As a business owner you can’t wait 45 days.”

But Taggart told Tribune Business: “It is not accurate that the resolution of the issue for RBC clients will take 45 days. Only certain types of internal investigations require 45 days and it would not apply to something like this. A skimming event like this that affects our clients will be resolved within 24-48 hours after we are notified of the claim. We know clients need access to their financial resources and we are committed to supporting them throughout this disruption as quickly and effectively as possible."

Edison Sumner, of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) also expressed concern that 45 days might be too long for some businesses.

“We haven’t heard anything officially on this. I got some notices about inordinate lines at RBC but we haven’t received any formal complaint from a member of the Chamber. I’m still trying to reach out to the bank to find to what’s happening and whether we need to put out a notice to our members.”

He added: “It appears as though these sort of cyber attacks are on the rise again. Last week I had to go into my bank to deal with a suspicious transaction. It is incumbent on consumers to ensure that we don’t fall victim of such breaches and keep a watchful eye. If you see something out of place or something which appears suspicious you should let the bank know. Forty-five days seems like a very long time so we hope the bank can cut down the investigation times quickly so persons can access their accounts.”

Social media was abuzz yesterday with concerned customers expressing concern over their accounts being compromised. One RBC customer told Tribune Business she was literally brought to tears having discovered yesterday her account had been wiped.

“This is really stressful, its so frustrating. I don’t know what else to say,” she said.

RBC yesterday encouraged cardholders to contact its Client Advice Centre or visit their local branch as soon as possible if they suspect their account has been affected.

“Security is critical to our business and will always be a top priority. We invest in and employ industry best practices to protect our systems so our clients can have confidence in their financial transactions,” said RBC.

“Unfortunately, the elements behind hacking and skimming efforts are similarly committed to their illegal activities. The reality is that crimes of this type have become increasingly problematic, not only in the financial services sector, but for other industries in the Caribbean and around the globe.

“RBC is working closely with the authorities as they investigate this attack on our valued clients and the related fraud, and will continue to invest and deploy the latest security protocols and technology to combat them.”

Comments

ohdrap4 1 year, 1 month ago

easy, just use blockchain. there is no problem blockchain cannot solve, best thing since penicillin.

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

the blockchain technology is like medical marijuana..it is good but it has its limitations

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 1 month ago

"I’m still trying to reach out to the bank to find out what’s happening and whether we need to..."

Really? They won't answer a call from the Chamber chief? I would think any bank would want the Chamber on their side.

Then again, we must remember what tiny percentage of their global portfolio we represent. The concern level just might not be there.

By the way, does anyone know how many years after paying off his mortgage a client has to wait for a bank to return to him the original deeds they hold on the mortgage? Is this mentioned anywhere in the Bank Act for instance?

I've heard the multi-year holding practice is common among several banks (although no specific bank names were called...LOL).

Could we have the Bank Act amended so that banks must pay clients $5,000 per month for every month (beyond 2) that they do not return these documents?

No. Of course not. Fines are only for corned beef eaters.

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ohdrap4 1 year, 1 month ago

yep, mine was held for four years. I paid a lawyer to represent me. then it took almost two years for it to be recorded.

OTOH my brother got his with a few months.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 1 month ago

(4+2) x 12 x $5,000 = $360,000 is what the bank would have had to pay you under my proposed amendment.

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ohdrap4 1 year, 1 month ago

I WILL VOTE FOR YOU.

the additional lawyer fees did hurt me, but i am glad i got the papers as that bank has been in troubles for a number of years now.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 1 month ago

odrap4 - thanks for your political support. Yes, it is sad how you are "glad you got the papers" out of fear that the bank going out of business might have meant you never got them. Kinda a better late than never attitude.

I'm also glad you got the papers, but my point is that as Bahamians we are often in positions where when someone throws mud in our face, all we can do is stand there and say " i'm just glad it wasn't cow manure."

We need to be much more "uppity" in this country. Unfortunately our desire to "harshly" punish criminals by subjecting them to anal rape - reduces the drive in many to stand up and protest, because they fear the lifelong physical and psychological damage that "might" be inflicted on them in prison.

Every single penalty clause in our Law is structured the same way: "A fine not exceeding $X or a term of imprisonment not exceeding Y months/years or both such fine and imprisonment." In other words, you could go to jail for throwing chewing gum on the sidewalk.

The kind of public protest we witnessed yesterday in D.C. could never happen here. The Antifa people did not have a permit, they just showed up. You can't just show up and protest here.

Here the massa has us all well subdued under the whip.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 1 month ago

....i'm now wait for a regular clown in here to make an irrelevant reply such as "Singapore outlaws gum altogether. You can't possess it or even import it as a tourist. One of the reasons their crime rate is so low."

Tal? John? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

LOL

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

@ Madhatter: Obviously if my comments were so irrelevant you wouldn't have gone to such pains to name me. And since there is no poster who pens under the name "Bueller" your need to single me out is obvious. And I have as much right to post my 'irrelevant' opinions in this forum as you have to post yours that are mostly racist, degrading of Bahamians or totally lacks common sense much less logic. So shut up and write!

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

RBC's problems extend beyond the ATM's. For several years account holders have been facing the dilemma of thousands and thousands of dollars going missing off their accounts and this includes persons who were not using the ATM's. In many cases, employees were involved in the missing funds. And RBC has been trying to close the gap and take control of the situation by eliminating fast tellers, stopping in-bank deposits and withdrawals, and only accepting checks that are drawn on their own accounts. So if you have a check from Singapore and want to buy chewing gum, you cannot cash that check at RBC.

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The_Oracle 1 year, 1 month ago

The SInk. Jeffrey Robinson. Read it. Then you'll see the real picture.

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pileit 1 year, 1 month ago

My RBC "client card" is still magstripe only, Whereas all my other local bank cards have smart chips, which thwart the skimming practice.... RBC is so busy shrinking itself to maintain huge profit, its not securing its clients.

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TheMadHatter 1 year, 1 month ago

Good points John - all around. In addition i say avoid Singapore altogether - they are like a stale potato chip.

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

I spent my college days eating stale potato chips and outdated pastries. And they were not half as harmful as the GMO products today

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 1 month ago

Is this an ATM issue or an online banking issue? Two different things. Did someone get ATM account numbers and PINs or did someone perform a dictionary attack on online accounts? The police should be speaking with any IT person charged this year with online theft.

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bogart 1 year, 1 month ago

7th paragraph down skimming to-date isolated to ATMs..... See....these are the same machines dat the banks wants the customers to be using instead of lining up in the bank. What is needed is a Class Action lawsuit for several hundred million dollars as in the US...but of course that will never happen in the Bahamas...likely referred to the Colonial superior masters at da Privy Council for a decision....like its not da worst of the worst......lol...

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CaptainCoon 1 year, 1 month ago

I believe RBc is one of the few banks still in the stone age without a security chip in it. Typical 3rd world baboon institution. I feel for the Bahamians that lost so much from this. SAD!

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bogart 1 year, 1 month ago

@Madhatter......on the finished mortgage docs......on finishing your loan....you are expected to get a printout of your Real Prprty tax receipt to show that nothing is owed to the govt as sny amount represents a first charge ......next your officer would have you make the payments for the receipt or Satisfacton which will be attached to the mortgage document and this new document has to make ghe rounds of being stamped amd recorded and the search records of anypne looking afterwards will see that the document has been Satisfied or finished.......this process takes some time.....In the course of a 20 to 30 year mortgage any lender goes through a number of changes with storage of a huge area of documents moving. Sometimes sometimes well accidents happen and one title document could have a huge bundle of documents in the chain.....this bundle and other searches is what the lawyers have to go through to get what is still an opinion on title to give some assurance that the bank can lemd againsr it......And apart from an opinion, lawyers will also do a disclaimer that searches of the govt areas they are not fully sure but nevertheless they may state blah blah....Absolutely incredible lending institutions have billons of dollars loaned against this system.....along the way number of things may go stramge affecting your property value etc... including shantytowns...encroachment...one day bank may be holding property valued.....etc opinion.

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