Press Release No. : 3/2016
Date : 18 February 2016
Cases have been brought to the attention of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) involving foreign nationals who have obtained customers’ bank card details by fraudulent means using ATM and EFTPOS skimming devices. The Director of FIU, Mr Razim Buksh said that they have noted an increase in the number of skimming cases since June 2015. The last major and carefully orchestrated incident occurred in December 2015 and affected more than 500 credit and debit cardholders. An attempt to conduct ATM skimming in January 2016 was successfully foiled.
Several people have been charged by the Fiji Police Force and investigations are continuing. Fiji’s first skimming device case was detected in 2003.
Mr Buksh said that the FIU is assisting the Fiji Police Force in their investigations and is working closely with the Association of Banks in Fiji (ABIF) to ensure that necessary measures are in place to be able to detect and prevent future incidents from occurring.
The FIU would like to advise cardholders to exercise caution and care when using their cards at ATM and EFTPOS machines, when they access their bank accounts online and when conducting on-line purchases or payments. Cardholders must take heed of advisories issued by the ABIF, individual commercial banks in Fiji and the Consumer Council of Fiji. Customers whose cards were used for unauthorised transactions should immediately contact their bank. The Reserve Bank of Fiji is also working closely with the commercial banks and a number of measures have been introduced to ensure safety and protection of customers and their funds.
In addition to advisories issued by the ABIF and commercial banks, we would like to provide further measures for members of the public to note as follows: Always keep your credit or debit card in a safe and secure place.
The FIU would like to also caution criminals that skimming related activities and money laundering are serious offences in Fiji and all effort will be made to investigate and prosecute such criminals. In the past, people have been convicted in Fiji for such activities including credit card fraud.