Fraudsters arrested over bank machine scam

| 17/02/2011

(CNS): Two Romanian nationals were arrested at Owen Roberts International Airport yesterday in connection with an attempted bank scam. On Tuesday, 15 February, officers in the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit received a report that a number of fraudulent withdrawals had been made from cash machines in the George Town area. The bank involved advised the police that the cards used during the transactions had been seized by the machines. Police said the cards used by the suspected fraudsters were not legitimate bank cards but "poker cards" used in casinos. The metallic strips on the cards had been loaded with potential victim’s account details for overseas accounts.

Following a police operation on Wednesday, 16 February, with the assistance of the Department of Immigration, two men aged 22 and 25 years were arrested at the airport.

The exact amount of money that was stolen has yet to be established but police enquiries have also revealed that the cards had been used to make purchases at business premises throughout the Island. The men currently remain in police custody while enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone who suspects they may have been a victim of the scam should contact the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit on 949-8797.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Midnight Cowboy says:

    Any business which accepted this card should be named and shamed and they should lose the privilege of accepting cards for payment.

  2. Concerned says:

    I think that which ever store worker that was stupid enough to take a poker card for a visa card should have to pay that money back. And for not looking for propper identifcation. I agree with some of the above posts, except for the facet that many places that I use my cards they ask for ID’s. So I wonder why they ask some and not others? hmmm

  3. Marek says:

    YEA RCIPS, trust me the Romanian blogs must be full of messages by now about how these two were caught dead in their tracks.

    That’s some seriously good PR.




  4. anonymous says:

    I hope you all see now how sophisticated these thieves are getting. Its no longer the little local man doing these crimes, but more our international global buddies. Beware Immigrationwho you let into these Islands in this free market drive.

  5. pmilburn says:

    Please please when and if they are convicted DO NOT SEND them to prison.Deport them and be done with it.Fine them beforehand if they have the money and get rid of them once and for all.We cannot afford to feed them for a couple of monthsyears whatever.

    • Anne on a Moose says:

      What sort of message would that give? Come on over to CI and if you get caught thieving we’ll just limit the fine to whatever you have on you and send you on your way?

      Punishment needs to be there as a deterrant, even if it costs us. There is no escaping the need for prison in society, sadly. Let them have a nasty scary time at Northward and tell their friends all about it when they get out.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Um were all of the cards used "poker cards"? And they got away with using them at local businesses?? I certainly hope not! In this day and age every single business should be scrutinising cards and checking ID for every single credit or debit card transaction. It drives me crazy when I hand over my ID and the cashier says they don’t need it!

    Businesses should also check the name on the card against the name on the receipt. Advanced fraudsters can make a dummy card in their own name (or use the name on a fake ID or re-use a card they have already) with the magnetic strip holding information from a potential victim. As soon as the machine prints out the receipt the real card holder’s name appears and should be confirmed against the name on the card AND on the ID.

    • Anonymous says:

       It drives you crazy to hand over your licence does it? Well you should know that according to the merchant agreements business take out with the credit card companies, that they are expressly prohibited from asking for your ID. The security measure that they are supposed to use is to check the signature when signing off ONLY.


      It is also in contravention of the merchant agreement for any business to place a surcharge on credit card transactions. 

      • My Handcock says:

        The poster said “it drives me crazy…” only because the cashier(s) said they don’t need it. Not crazy because they have to hand over their license. In other words, it’s like the casher does not need/want/can’t be bothered to take the time to check the ID for proper verification. It’s not something all are used to doing but it should be.

        I don’t sign my cards, so a signature verification in my opinion is not as valid as a authorized picture ID that does have my signature.

        • Anonymous says:

          you don’t sign your cards? So if someone finds your card they get to sign your name in their own handwriting, which guarentees that the signature will match the receipt they are asked to sign by the merchant. The signature is not much of a deterent to a crook, but a blank card is like Christmas to them.

          • Anonymous9 says:

            There are many people that put ‘See ID’ on the back of their card instead of a signature. I do

            I just returned form using my card in NYC and not once was I asked for my ID. And not one person turned the card over to check for my signature.

            Best deterrent is a photo on the card as my US credit card has.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, as I said above, it drives me crazy for them to give me BACK my licence saying they don’t need it after I have voluntarily handed it to them. Especially because the back of my card says "ASK FOR ID".

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately many cashiers who accept cards from customers do not ask for an ID, check the name or even check to see if the card has been signed on the back. I’ve raised this concern with many cashiers in the past. But maybe it’s the business owners who need to ensure that their front-line staff is properly trained to do these things.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen to that.

        I recently handed over my wife’s credit card for a $400 transaction, signed the slip with my name because she was taking a phone call and no one checked anything.

        And it’s not the first time I’ve done this without being challenged.

  7. Babylon Boops says:

    Good Job Police! Thank you and keep it up!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I hope the banks involved will be refunding those clients who had funds stolen from their accounts promptly.

    Excellent work by the Police and Immigration to catch these guys.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good catch! Bastards like this make life more expensive for the rest of us!

    • Anonymous says:

       I hope that we all see now who is doing these robberies. I was always of the opinion that it was professional criminals. By the way what about Anna? Not hearing nothing at all except for the Publics opinions whic are usually in the end the findings. Where do one drop off stuff for her kids, are they with their Dad friends or familys or Social Services. Who do we give the hand outs to please?