Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 22nd 2015 Contents A17
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The Central Bank does not
mal demand for foreign ex-
change, particularly US
currency, during the upcom-
ing holiday travel period.
In an emailed response to
questions from the T&T
Guardian, the bank said
measures are in place to deal
with demand for foreign cur-
The Central Bank said it
has led commercial banks to
raise their branch limits for
US cash beyond US$500 per
person, especially for travel
purposes, and it has estab-
lished a system for selling US
cash to commercial banks
similar to the one currently
used to sell foreign exchange
to authorised dealers.
If commercial banks or the
system runs low on US cash,
Central Bank said it will be in
a position to meet the short-
"Given these two meas-
ures, we do not expect the
public to experience any dif-
ficulty accessing US cash for
travel purposes. Travellers
are also reminded they can
use alternative methods of
payment such as credit cards
and can withdraw cash from
ATMs abroad with their TT
bank cards," the bank said.
Chairman of the Interbank Anti-
Fraud Committee of the Bankers
Association of T&T (Batt), Antonio
Ventour, says fraud is on the rise
in T&T and the latest illegal activity
involves deportees who are selling
credit-card data online.
Ventour, who spoke at a seminar
hosted by the Energy Chamber of
T&T, at Cara Suites in Claxton Bay,
yesterday, said citizens can safeguard
against fraud by adhering to certain
policies and standard procedures.
He also urged businesses to educate
their employees about fraud.
He said credit-card skimming,
which involves a small device that
can easily be hidden and used on
unsuspecting customers, is becoming
"When they skim the cards they
send the information to the Internet
and sell it to the highest bidder. We
believe the skimming device was
first brought into T&T by deportees,"
With the increase of online bank-
ing, he said, highly-intelligent mal-
ware are now being used to reroute
funds from one account to the other.
"In 2013 McAfee detected 14 mil-
lion banking malware which are now
used to scam unsuspecting people
of millions of dollars in cash," Ven-
tour revealed. He advised business
owners to be wary of suspicious
"Look for someone who shops
willy-nilly with a card and that
would be your first red flag. It is also
important to compare the signature
on the ID and the one on the receipt.
Monitor the payment area or work-
station for skimmers and lost cards.
"Let employees know you have a
fraud policy and once you present
that to employees, it acts as an
immediate deterrent," Ventour said.
He said it was not wise to rely
only on a police certificate of good
character when hiring staff---back-
ground checks are necessary.
"Letters of recommendations and
references are always complimentary.
Background investigations reveal
what police certificates of character
do not. Exercise caution when deal-
ing with new clients and always
know your customers."
Ventour also recommended that
people use only one device for finan-
cial transactions. He said a 2015 sur-
vey found that the greatest threats
to businesses are cyber-related.
Central Bank ready to meet forex demand
'Bank-card fraud on the rise'
Andrew Hosein of the Energy Chamber of T&T, second right, greets ASP Nazrudeen Pragg of the Fraud Squad. At
left is Insp Rishi Singh, also from the Fraud Squad, and Antonio Ventour, chairman of the Interbank Anti-Fraud
Committee of the Bankers Association of T&T. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
"Look for someone who
shops willy-nilly with a card
and that would be your first
red flag. It is also important
to compare the signature on
the ID and the one on the
receipt. Monitor the payment
area or workstation for
skimmers and lost cards. Let
employees know you have a
fraud policy and once you
present that to employees, it
acts as an immediate
---Antonio Ventour, chairman of
the Interbank Anti-Fraud
Committee of the Bankers
Association of T&T (Batt)
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