Scotiabank reimburses 20k to central Trinidad woman over phishing scam

(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.

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