A fork-lift operator who is the victim of automatic teller machine (ATM) fraud has appealed to First Citizens to return his savings.
An emotional Jagdeo Goolie Persad told the Express he worked very hard to save some $5,200 for months, and when he checked his account a few days ago, the money had gone missing.
On Friday, the Bankers' Association confirmed commercial banks were hit by thieves who used an illegal process called "skimming" to steal money.
The con artistes used well-hidden cameras to capture the personal identification numbers (PINs) of customers' debit and credit cards as they used them at ATMs at several bank branches across the country.
Persad told the Express he visited the bank to query why he was not receiving his salary (it was not reflected when he checked his account at the ATM) and to his alarm, he found his savings were gone.
He said the manager of the First Citizens branch in Point Lisas explained to him that his money was withdrawn from ATM machines in Tunapuna and Curepe.
Persad said he was the only person who had his ATM card and did not go to these areas, and the manager then explained to him about the ATM fraud.
He said he became worried when he was told by bank officials that his money will be reimbursed after investigations.
"I read in the papers that other banks were giving their customers their money back right away. I waiting to hear what they (First Citizens) doing. I told them (bank officials) that when they sleeping, I going out there and working 12 hours to make a living," said Persad.
"I have three children, and I am the only one working in my house, is not $500, is $5,000, and I take really long to save that," said Persad, who added that his young children, ages eight, seven and two, were dependent on him.
The Express contacted a customer service representative of First Citizens who said Persad's name was on the list of victims to be reimbursed.
However, the representative could not provide a date or time when this would happen or exactly how many persons were affected.