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Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

Qingdao, China
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Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

I've just spent 3 week holidaying in Tobago, with the last couple of days in Trinidad. After returning home on the 20th April, I noticed on my bank statement 24th April that approximately 9,000 TT Dollars (1500 USD) had been spent at a business place called Jo Jo's Liquor store, using my debit card. After cancelling my card with my bank, I tracked down the owner of JoJo's who told me 2 cases of Johnny Walker plus mixers were purchased in the name of Kevin Smith.

Despite years living overseas predominantly the Caribbean this is the first I have been victim of such a crime. One of my bigger concerns is that I only used my card at 'reputable' establishments. Holiday Inn Express, Singhs Auto Rental, and Airport Duty free on departure. My suspicion lies with the assistant who swiped my card at Singhs (Piarco Airport). This was done out of my sight in a back room, even the lady attending to me asked the guy why he was taking so long. I half thought it was odd at the time...but didn't pay it much attention.

Has anyone experience such issues in Trinidad recently?

9 replies to this topic
Trinidad
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1. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

That's awful.

The liquor store owner allowed the transaction without verifying id on purchase?

Never let your credit card out of sight no matter where in World you are.

Trinidad
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2. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

Is your name Kevin Smith? If not, then that purchase at the liquor store is suspicious.

Usually when using a CC they require a form of id to compare to name on CC. I've never been able to use a CC here without showing id.

trinidad
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3. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

Notify the Police in your country to notify the police in Trinidad about credit card fraud. Also write/call the management of Singh's to let them know you would be pressing charges because of this, check your purchases and verify that you were above board on all your transactions, also the card companies always tell card holders never let the card out of your sight no matter how pleasant the person serving you. Don't just lay back make calls and let them know especially the place where they said your card was last used.

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

I don't know how much recourse the OP really has. From what I have read, debit cards do not have the same secuirty as credit cards. Always use a credit card - not a debit card.

Qingdao, China
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5. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

My name is not Kevin Smith....so it makes me more suspicious of JoJo's. The bank have no confirmed that the amount was exactly 9000 TT. Also seems strange that it was such an exact amount. Despite calling the local police station to Piarco airport and the POS fraud team, they seem to be largely powerless unless I go in and give a statement. Unfortunately seems to be a lost cause, so just working with the bank at the moment. Definitely a concern though.

Edited: 29 April 2014, 00:34
T & T
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6. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

I'm sorry you experienced this on my little island.....my CC was recently hacked, over TT $10k in purchases...all online ...the charges except for one was credited immediately ....I had to go through a long process back and forth as the merchant disputed my claim that it was not my purchase...the purchase was made by someone in the Ukraine...they had the person's name & address yet they still claimed I made the purchase.

The assistant's behaviour does sound suspicious but you would have had to enter your pin number, no?..can your debit card be used without your pin #?

Many banks do offer protection to debit card holders so I hope your bank is one of them...and yes to reiterate what everyone has said never let your card out of your sight. I'm also cautious now of the bank that is affiliated with the card scanners...in tracing my movements before my CC info was stolen, the few times I used my CC the scanners were from the same bank.

Good luck...

Edited: 29 April 2014, 16:25
Trinidad
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7. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

Ok so I mis-read. I was reading CC all along because of the topic name, when in fact it was your debit card.

Don't debit cards need a pin to enable the transaction to go through? Or its different with your type of card.

If they skimmed the info and made a card for Kevin Smith, they saw your pin?

Qingdao, China
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8. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

@poisonarrowz Unfortunately TT has not adopted the pin number only requirement, that is the case in the UK and shortly Australia. They just scan the card as a credit card, and get a signature. I only used it a couple of times in Trinidad and no one every checked ID or asked for a pin number. So I have to assume they skimmed the card and just processed it. I think it's highly likely that Jo Jo's Liquor was part of the scam, since the bill shows exactly 9000 TT for that business place. The frustration is trying to report this as I have all the evidence. To date, no response from the British High Commission in POS, no response from the Police Fraud....(not that I expected anything anyway). Lessons learnt unfortunately.

Tampa, Florida
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9. Re: Victim of Credit Card Skimming after 2 days in Trinidad

Sorry that happened to you. Perhaps it will serve for future visitors to NOT use Singh's auto rental.

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