(Trinidad Guardian) A woman from central Trinidad, who lost a little over $20,000 in a bank phishing scam earlier this year, has been reimbursed by Scotiabank.
In a letter sent to the bank’s regional director legal and corporate secretary Rachel Laquis yesterday, lawyers representing Anisa Baboolal, of Orange Valley, Couva, thanked the bank for repaying the $21,017.31 that was stolen from her account since April.
However, they said that they were disappointed as the bank only reimbursed Baboolal after she sent a pre-action protocol, earlier this month.
“The bureaucratic stonewalling and lack of compassion demonstrated by your bank are completely unacceptable and in poor taste, to say the least. We are certain that Scotiabank is insured for these phishing of fraudulent incidents and the insurance coverage would or ought to have been invoked for the benefit of aggrieved customers,” Baboolal’s attorney Jared Jagroo said.
Jagroo also claimed that since Baboolal’s story went viral, several other victims contacted him for legal representation. The bank has since contacted them to resolve their cases.
Jagroo suggested that the bank’s general awareness campaign over bank fraud was insufficient and that a more focused approach was necessary to protect its customers.
Jagroo said such a campaign should use specific examples of customers being fleeced.
“It should also warn that fraudsters sending these emails and/or text messages use the authentic Scotiabank logo, style and format for your online banking services to entice unsuspecting customers into sharing their information with ‘the bank’,” he said as he noted that the messages which were used to defraud his client appeared “quite legitimate”.
Baboolal fell victim to the scam after she received a text message from a foreign number on April 13.
The message informed Baboolal that her Sociabank debit card had been blocked and provided a link for her to submit banking details including her account number and pin.
Baboolal complied and only became suspicious several days after when she received the message a second time.
When Baboolal contacted the bank, she was informed that she had been defrauded of $21,017.31. Most of the transfers were allegedly made to V Asia Group Limited, a company based at Cross Crossing, San Fernando. The case has been reported to police, who are currently investigating.
Early this month, Baboolal’s lawyers made a Freedom of Information request to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith for an update into the police’s investigation.
Baboolal was also represented by Anand Ramlogan, SC.