Symonette: 'Public Needs To Be Cautious' With Atms


Tribune Business Reporter


FINANCIAL Services Minister Brent Symonette said yesterday that Bahamians will have to exercise greater "caution" when utilising ATMs, calling the recent Royal Bank of Canada "skimming" incident "unfortunate".

Mr Symonette said that while the incident was "unfortunate" it should be put in perspective.

"It's not something unusual, it happens in a number of places," he said.

"I think what we need to do is, as The Bahamas moves forward and it's more difficult to go to a bank and cash a cheque, we have to be more vigilant. It's unfortunate but I think patrons will just have to have more caution when using the ATMs."

RBC confirmed earlier this week that 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.

"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. 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.


ThisIsOurs 1 year ago

Since we're pushing customers to use cards, does the bank have the most secure ATMs on the market


ohdrap4 1 year ago

it is the banks who need to be more cautious. the skimmers place devices on the machine and the patrons cannot see them.


Alex_Charles 1 year ago

" as The Bahamas moves forward and it's more difficult to go to a bank and cash a cheque, we have to be more vigilant. It's unfortunate but I think patrons will just have to have more caution when using the ATMs."

So how is caution going to stop anything? Please explain...


hnhanna 1 year ago

Too many persons are using their ATM cards at gas stations, in my opinion, these machines are a high risk for hackers.


Honestman 1 year ago

Reduce your risk and use ATM's inside the Bank.


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year ago

Brent Symonette could not care less about how much suffering black people under go in this country. If any of his money went missing from a bank he would be singing an entirely different song. Minnis and the FNM made a huge, very huge mistake in taking campaign financial support from this arse and his gated community friends. It was an even bigger mistake than the money they took from the numbers bosses!


Sickened 12 months ago

I think you could have (should have) left out 'black' in your first sentence. Readers would be more apt to read the rest of your unnecessarily racist contribution.


bogart 1 year ago

Financial Minister.....'Symonette: Public meeds to be cautious' with ATMs.....Bahamians will have to exercise greater "caution" when using ATMs.....calling the RBC incident of "skimming" .."unfortunate"........ Well if one searches net or teck knows of "skinning" an "scanning" plenty information is available.... 1. The scimming is better enabled when there are not adequate surveillance cameras or persons can be at ATM and physically alter machine etc 2. ATMs usually have bank camera observing user in machine face. 3. Bank must have personell to review these camera tapes for anything suspicious including large deposits...persons taking too long at machines fully being aware taught, knowledhable of all latest fraud activities.....scimmimg is an old time fraud 4. Bank has to use due care and attention and would have to check time of first instance of scimmjng fraud at ATM and look at latest or point of discovery. Bottom line many of these incidents could have prevented if Bank policies on reviewing tapes complaonts etc were done and should not be labelled " unfortunate" before investigation is done as to whether the bank was "negligent" and what action any aggrieved bank customer chooses to take......


TheMadHatter 1 year ago

A friend had her money taken off acct with atm card a couple years ago. Suspected her daughter took it off because her daughter knew the pin having helped her (due to age) to use the atm.

Thought her daughter took out of purse without her knowing and replaced it without her knowing.

She went to the bank thinking they could just look who it was on the atm camera. The bank just REFUSED to look at the camera memory. No reason given. Just "No, we can't do that."

Makes me wonder if those cameras are even hooked up to data storage.

Of course i cant name the bank due to our wonderful liebel laws in this colony.


bogart 1 year ago

It is past due that pore Bahamian bank customers need to be protected with Financial Consumer Protection Laws and an Financial Protection Agency that pore and other aggrieved customers can go to. Pore Bahamian bank customers also needs a Financial Ombudsman to go to an complain an get immediate action. Current any bank customer has to argue it out with the same bank an many simply give up......or ....even if they goes to a lawyer, they will find out the high fees simply not worth it....and/or the lawyer will claim "conflict of interest" as many do not want to go up against the banks..... Financial Consumer Protection Bureau or Agency is desperately needed for Bahamian customers....!!!!,! In light of many bankers being caught in fradulent activities....someone in Government must also be looking out for the Bahamian customers and fimancial consumer protections...!!!!


bogart 1 year ago

@Madhatter....we were both on the camera situation... Other fraudulent use could also be.....ah why bother....ok ok.might as well tell them its common semse....in cases of elderly person ppassing away....other person can drain account ....if not joint an several clause...some ATM cards.....legal Bahamian person can open account and give card to illegal migrant and withdraw from ATM...various banks need to check cards to see iif Bahamian funds deposited and their card is capable of withdrawing funds in US...bypassing foreign currency amount declaration...


bogart 1 year ago

In addition to Financial Consumer Protectoon Agemcy or Burreau like the UK and US....there should be An agency to audit banks separate from that of the Bank Supervison...there are many stories out there in the public that there must be some Agency to complain to...I have heard these stories from being in the line just alone...people get annoyed eaiting and evetyyhing comes out....free info for Banking Complaints to give could only improve service for the pore peolle


John 1 year ago

Just after RBC sent out flyers to its customers claiming that RBC (the Bank) will reimburse customers for and funds lost at the ATM's..these international banks have an entourage of foreign gangsters who are set on breaking the bank and travel around the world hitting ATM's or doing other scams. The reason why BitCoin has lost so much value is there is so much fraud around it.


akbar 12 months ago

RBC strategic move was to minimize face to face transactions and encourage customers to use digital banking...now this. Apparently they haven't updated security as skimming is an old scam. RBC in this country in my opinion was always behind the 8ball tech wise. They are pushing for something which may be mandatory in their global brand but local and regionally they are not prepared.If I was a RBC customer I would move on . And other commercial banks need to tighten up their security. ATM door locks not working, cameras probably not working or data logged etc.

A side note.... these business owners need to stop being so cheap and hire professional security for daily deposits . Stop being careless and idiotic by using employees to make deposits. Not only you encouraging crime, you jeopardizing lives and it is a real nuisance when you go to the bank for simple transactions and these business owners or their employees holding up the line with their daily deposits simply cause they don't want pay for the extra service. Maybe the bank need to reduce their fees for them....LMAO.


bogart 12 months ago

Royal Bank does have spevial rooms for business persons to make deposits which is excellent whereas some other banks business people have a separate teller ...and everyone can see all the hand movements of the teller counting up ya deposits knowing ya business...But thrre is always the wallets deposit service for businesses costing extra....which too aint exactly safe cause ya have to gets outta ya vehicle....


juju 12 months ago

Well mudda, If you dislike Mr. Brent so much, why don’t you speak to him man to man and not write your nonsense in the newspaper please.


ohdrap4 12 months ago

the minister's comments were well intentioned, but out dated.

mind you the hacking is being done at the ATMS, not at the food stores or gas stations.

reality is, you can get hacked at any place you buy with a credit card or online, even the big retailers have been hacked.

your only choice is to check your cards online EVERYDAY.


Well_mudda_take_sic 12 months ago

juju: Haven't you ever noticed how Brent Symonette will always favour the side opposed to the Bahamian people on the really big things that count most? And ask yourself how is it a fella like Brent who has previously served as minister of immigration and accomplished absolutely nothing while doing so gets re-appointed to that very same post by Minnis? Aren't you also disappointed Brent was appointed minister of financial services because in Minnis's small mind that post is always reserved for the wealthiest man in parliament. As for my "nonsense" as you prefer calling it.....well, I can only say that you don't have to continue reading my posts unless you feel compelled to do so.


killemwitdakno 12 months ago

I bet they want to deter ppl from taking cash out force online banking.


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