Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 18th 2015 Contents BG6 NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JUNE 2015 • WEEK THREE
Stating that phishing is very prevalent
in the Caribbean, Anthony Ventour,
chair, interbank anti-fraud committee
of the Bankers Association of T&T
(BATT), said the process of phishing
starts with an email asking for the
individual s credentials. Some of the personal details
which the fraudster would obtain include: email
address, telephone number and password.
Phishing is an online tool for identity theft, Ventour
said in an interview with Business Guardian after
day one of the Caribbean Fraud Conference which
was held last week at the Hilton Hotel and Conference
Centre, St Ann s, Port-of-Spain.
Asked whether there were enough law enforcements
officials in place to investigate cases of phishing, he
said: "It is relative in the context of the volume of
Ventour added that Internet users in T&T do not
know who they are dealing with, since it can be any-
body across the world. This means that the possibility
exists that individuals could have access to the T&T
Internet user s password and credentials and this can
be very dangerous as the assets of the T&T Internet
user can be interfered with.
The opposite can happen if the individual does
not have a lot of assets.
"Their credentials may be taken to commit a fraud
on somebody else. In other words, they may not take
the T&T user s credentials to commit fraud on that
person, but on somebody else."
The banks have enough measures in place to treat
with phishing, he said, because there are "robust"
verification processes. This gives the bank the ability
to identify issues around phishing that customers
"There are procedures that would cause any ques-
tionable transaction to be identified. The banks are
very aware about the type of threats that come from
the Internet, and they have procedures in place for
Confident that the law enforcement has enough
skills, Ventour said there is a functioning cybercrime
unit in the police service, which is fully capable of
handling these issues.
Phishing is here to stay.
"If you don t respond to it, you cannot be phished.
If an email comes to you and you did not click on
the link---there must be a hyperlink in the email---
you will not be a victim."
Phishing knows no bounds in terms of age limit.
"The mere fact that you are surfing the Internet
means you are vulnerable to it. It is across the board.
The fraudster is not looking for young persons or
old persons. The mere fact that you have a digital
footprint, they are coming at you."
He ranks phishing to be the number one cybercrime
with malware coming second. His challenge remains
getting the public to understand the risks of doing
transactions online and the vulnerability that they
are exposed to.
Ventour warned not to open any unsolicited email,
delete it. If it is genuine, the person would get back
to you. Phishing is getting more sophisticated on a
Director of the Finan-
cial Intelligence Unit
(FIU), Susan Fran-
cois, warned that
can take several
forms and it can be
done using varying
channels, including passing the money to
She addressed the first Caribbean Fraud
Conference which was hosted by the T&T
Coalition of Services Industries at the Hilton
Hotel and Conference Centre, St Ann s,
Port-of-Spain last week.
Outlining the difference between money
laundering and financing of terrorism, Fran-
cois said the main difference is the source
of the funds. She said money laundering
is the laundering of money derived from
"The criminal tries to wash this money,
push it through the various processes in
order to make it appear to have been legit-
imately earned. In financing of terrorism,
legitimately earned money, as well as crim-
inal money can both go to financing of
Francois said an individual can own a
business and that money which the indi-
vidual earns can be sent to a terrorist organ-
isation to fund its activities. Money laun-
dering and financing of terrorism are
similar, she said, because they both involve
the flow of money, the movement of money
and "the intention is to hide the trail, to
hide the evidence and to obscure the source.
"Many of the processes that reveal that
money laundering is taking place also reveal
financing of terrorism, so they are not iso-
Since money laundering and financing
of terrorism involve the movement of
money, the first thing the criminal may
want to do is place his funds into the finan-
"Once it is in the financial system, the
person would want to "layer" it. Layering
is the process of putting different individ-
uals between him and the money: putting
the money in different bank accounts, mov-
ing the money around, because his intention
is to conceal the fact that this money was
obtained from committing this particular
Money laundering, she said, "is anything
that somebody does with the criminal pro-
"If you try to conceal it, if you try to
convert it, dispose of it, disguise it in any
way, remove it from T&T and bring it into
T&T that is the act of money laundering.
The intention is that if I commit the crime,
I know the proceeds came from money
laundering. If I am an associate of the crim-
inal who committed the crime I know that
the proceeds came from money launder-
She said banks are in a position to iden-
tify money laundering.
"If I am a bank and someone comes with
huge amounts of cash and makes many
deposits. I should have a suspicion that it
may have come from criminal activity."
The money is actually converted into
different forms such as nice houses and
Regarding financing of terrorism, this
occurs when the criminal actually provides
funds directly or indirectly.
"You collect funds and you provide those
funds to terrorists to use for terrorist activ-
ity. The criminal always knows or intended
that the funds would be used to fund ter-
"If someone has no knowledge at all that
I am collecting funds and sending it to a
charitable organisation, and I think the
charitable organisation is building a church
and I have no knowledge they are diverting
the funds to terrorist activity in some part
of the world, well then, "I" am not guilty.
It is providing cash or resources and tools
of the trade."
Apart from money laundering and
financing of terrorism, there is integration.
Integration, according to Francois, occurs
when the money comes back to the crim-
"He (the criminal) wants money so he
can use it either to fund other illegal activity
or to set up a legal business; pretend that
the money came from that legal business
or even just to enjoy it, to buy expensive
"It is placed in a financial institution or
comingled as the receipts of the legal busi-
ness with the drug money. Therefore, you
have a business doing much better than
competitors in the same sector."
Attempting to rank the levels of financial
criminal activity, she said, apart from
money laundering---which is ranked the
highest suspicious transaction---drug traf-
ficking, tax evasion and fraud were the
next highest, but she did not give the sta-
If you don't respond to it, you
cannot be phished. If an email
comes to you and you did not
click on the link---there must
be a hyperlink in the email---
you will not be a victim.
SUSAN FRANCOIS. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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