The Bank of St. Vincent & the Grenadines Ltd. (BOSVG) said Monday afternoon that it is aware of recent reports regarding fraudulent activities at automated teller machines (ATMs), which it said may have affected some of its customers.
The statement comes as investigators at the Financial Investigations Unit were questioning three St. Lucians who are suspected to have been involved in an ATM scam that might have affected BOSVG customers.
The men were met with over $70,000 and the bank is calculating how much money it might have lost to the suspected scammers, iWitness News has learnt.
iWitness News was also reliably informed that charges could be laid against the non-nationals on Tuesday.
Sources say that police were on Monday still calculating the amount of money that might have been illegally obtained through the scheme, even as they continued their hunt for a fourth person suspected of having been involved.
BOSVG did not refer to the police investigation in its statement but said that the incidences “are not limited to any particular bank and are likely to have affected various institutions”.
The bank said it takes matters of customer safety and security very seriously, “and remains unwavering in our commitment to safeguarding the financial affairs of our valued customers.
“The Bank continues to implement technological solutions to mitigate instances of fraudulent activity.
“In light of these reports, customers are therefore urged to continue to be vigilant when using ATMs,” the bank said.
It reminded its customers of the following:
If you have any suspicions about an ATM or about persons loitering around them, do not use it.
Examine the ATM for items that may have been installed over or around the keypad. Some potential indicators include evidence of sticky substances or adhesives on machines and/or keyboard; damaged or crooked keypads or extensions on card slots or poor machine response when pressing the keypad. Contact BOSVG immediately, via telephone numbers 1-784-452-4153 or 1-784-452-4229 or 1-784-452-4151, if you observe any suspicious instruments attached to the ATM.
Keep your PIN secret
Always guard your personal identification number (PIN). Never write your PIN on your card or keep it in your wallet. Memorise it and never share. Be mindful of others around you. Ensure that you are in a position to shield the keyboard to prevent your PIN from being seen.
The bank will continue to work closely with relevant local authorities particularly law enforcement, and financial sector stakeholders to ensure that our customers are adequately protected. Customers who may have concerns about a compromised card are asked to contact Card Services at 1-784-452-4229 or 1-784-452-4153 or visit the nearest BOSVG branch.