A CASH reward is being offered to anyone who can assist in identifying and locating six men who can assist in the investigation into the recent spate of debit and credit card fraud to have occurred in commercial bank branches across the country.
Crime Stoppers posted six images in a newspaper advertisement yesterday seeking the public's assistance in identifying and locating the men.
The photographs were captured by surveillance cameras inside the banks. Over the past few days bank customers have been targeted by technologically well-equipped thieves.
Using an illegal process called "skimming", con artistes have used well hidden cameras to capture the personal identification numbers (PINs) of customers' debit and credit cards as they used them at automated teller machines (ATMs) at several bank branches across the country.
Bankers Association president Richard Young said the commercial banks were cooperating with the police in their investigations into the high-tech fraud.
Crime Stoppers yesterday published a newspaper advertisement entitled "Debit/Credit Fraud: Please help us contact these persons".
An undisclosed cash reward was being offered "for information that proves useful".
"Do you have information that could lead to the identification or whereabouts of these persons?" the advertisement stated.
"Persons with information should call The Crime Stoppers confidential 24-hour Call Centre at 800-TIPS (800-8477) or submit a tip on-line at www.crimestopperstt.com," the advertisement stated.
"Crime Stoppers offers citizens a safe and confidential system of reporting such information. We are part of a global body Crime Stoppers International, with 1,500 units operating in over 35 countries worldwide."
Public information officer of the Police Service Sgt Wayne Mystar said yesterday the matter was engaging the attention of the Cyber Crime Unit of the Police Service who are "working on some leads". He said no one has been arrested in connection with the fraud.
In a telephone interview, Mystar said that the Fraud Squad was also looking into the matter. He said the ATMs targeted were those which were isolated.
He gave the example of an isolated ATM in Chaguanas, near Medford's Plaza, that is ideal for bandits to prey on and urged the public to use ATMs that are within the compounds of a bank.
"There are ATMs in certain areas that are secluded and it is much more safe for people to go to an ATM in the confines of a bank than going to the ones that are isolated," Mystar said.
with reporting by
Jensen La Vende