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UPDATE: ‘We’ll refund Scotiabank VI fraud victims!’ – Jennifer O’Leary

-Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Limited's Marketing Manager Jennifer O'Leary assures that Scotiabank's systems are secure
Scotiabank’s Marketing Manager - Caribbean North, Jennifer O’Leary, who is based in the Cayman Islands, in a statement to this news site yesterday November 24, 2014 said that if transactions are identified as fraudulent, the debit/credit cards will be blocked, replaced and the customers refunded. Photo: Provided
Following the disclosure that scores of accounts had been compromised over the past days, this news site can confirm that Scotiabank BVI is one of the financial institutions whose customers were affected. Photo: VINO/File
Following the disclosure that scores of accounts had been compromised over the past days, this news site can confirm that Scotiabank BVI is one of the financial institutions whose customers were affected. Photo: VINO/File
Ryan L. Best, Scotiabank BVI Branch Manager on Friday November 21, 2014 confirmed that the local branch of the financial institution was awaiting an official response that was expected to come from the bank's regional headquarters located in the Cayman Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Ryan L. Best, Scotiabank BVI Branch Manager on Friday November 21, 2014 confirmed that the local branch of the financial institution was awaiting an official response that was expected to come from the bank's regional headquarters located in the Cayman Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Persons told this news site that their accounts were compromised and they believe that the information on their debit cards was swiped at points of sale machines. Photo: Internet source
Persons told this news site that their accounts were compromised and they believe that the information on their debit cards was swiped at points of sale machines. Photo: Internet source
GEORGETOWN, Grand Cayman, CI – Scotiabank’s Marketing Manager - Caribbean North, Jennifer O’Leary in a statement to this news site yesterday November 24, 2014 said that if transactions are identified as fraudulent, the debit/credit cards will be blocked, replaced and the customers refunded.

“Scotiabank is aware that there has been a recent increase in fraudulent activity as a result of breaches of card related information that occurred at some US retailers in 2014,” said O’Leary in the statement.

“Scotiabank has been taking proactive measures to protect our customers, including tightening our controls on transaction authorizations and issuing replacement Credit and/or Debit Cards,” she said.

“We are contacting affected customers to verify activity on their Cards and where we cannot reach them, we are placing a temporary hold on transactions. If a transaction is identified as fraudulent the Debit and/or Credit Cards will be blocked, replaced and the customer refunded,” said O’Leary, who is based at Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Limited in the Cayman Islands but has responsibility for the Virgin Islands as well as Turks & Caicos.

“Scotiabank takes the safety and security of customer accounts and information very seriously, and we want to reassure customers that our systems are secure,” she said.

“We are also asking all of our customers to closely monitor their accounts and contact the Bank immediately if they see any transactions that do not belong to them. For customers who have any questions or concerns please contact Marvelyn Baker on 284-852-2128, Yolandetha Todman on 284-852-2166 or Natasha Bain at 284-495-6976. We appreciate your business and thank you for your patience,” said O’Leary in the statement.

See previous article published on November 23, 2014:

UPDATE: Scotiabank BVI identified as 1 victim of ID theft

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Following the disclosure that scores of accounts had been compromised over the past days, this news site can confirm that Scotiabank BVI is one of the financial institutions whose customers were affected.

We were able to confirm this by speaking to Ryan L. Best, Scotiabank BVI Branch Manager on Friday November 21, 2014.

Best confirmed that the local branch of the financial institution was awaiting an official response that was expected to come from the bank's regional headquarters located in the Cayman Islands.

When pressed, Best was reluctant to disclose more details about the situation in the absence of the official response, preferring to let the response speak for itself. He promised to make that response available to this news site as soon as it was possible for him to do so.

However up to post time this official response from the bank was not forthcoming nor was anything posted on Scotiabank BVI’s website.

It is believed that Scotiabank BVI may not be the only bank in the Territory whose customers’ identities were stolen.

Many of Scotiabank BVI’s customers who had their accounts compromised are peeved that they now have to wait three months before they can access their accounts.

It is believed that persons unknown used rogue magnetic strip readers to swipe the information off account holders’ debit cards while they were performing legitimate business using point of sale machines. It is believed that the crimes were perpetrated in the Virgin Islands as well as the US Virgin Islands.

This news site will continue to follow this developing story and bring you details as they become available.

See previous article published on November 22, 2014:

Local Visa Debit Card holders’ accounts compromised!

-accounts placed on hold for 3 months without logical explanation

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI‎ - It was a scene of panic at one of the leading banks yesterday November 21, 2014 as several persons have complained of their accounts being compromised and monies withdrawn without their knowledge.

Speaking to this news site, one woman who asked not to be named explained that she discovered a problem with her account on Thursday November 20, 2014 and when contacted the Bank acknowledged that a number of their customers' accounts have been compromised by a person or persons unknown targeting shopping in the USA.

She further explained that the bank offered her a replacement card which she accepted but much to her surprise she couldn't use it as every attempt was declined.

She said the complaint was made to the manager of the bank who requested her to send him an email and this was done.

"Until now he hasn't responded to my email and he is not taking my calls now. All my money is on that account and they are telling me that my account is frozen for three months. What is that?" asked the distraught woman.

Several others confirmed the same fate and are calling on the management of the bank to make a public statement. "We need to have some statement out,” said another woman, pointing out that the same thing is also happening in St Thomas.

“On Friday I went into the bank and all of my money was withdrawn off the account. Another set of staff went in and the same thing happen. They bank said that it will take 90 days before they could know who went into the account,” another woman said to this news site.

“I am a single parent and this kinda crazy. All of the money removed from the account and they are telling me they don’t know when and if I am going to get it back and that it will take 90 days for them to actually know,” she said.

The woman said that no one else could have had access to her debit card as it is on her person at all times. She believes that the information from her card might have been stolen when she swiped it at a point of sale machine in St Thomas recently.

Our call to the Manager of the named bank went unanswered twice before press time. However a message was left requesting a return call.

48 Responses to “UPDATE: ‘We’ll refund Scotiabank VI fraud victims!’ – Jennifer O’Leary”

  • ABC (22/11/2014, 09:14) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wow name the bank!!!
    • Bluto (22/11/2014, 12:21) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      The bank sent their customers an email on Wednesday advising that the cards may have been compromised and that you will only be able to use your debit card at establishments where you must enter a pin. No more swipe and go.
      • west end (22/11/2014, 16:59) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        yeap I got one from the red bank this is serous as my account is on zero!!!
  • How (22/11/2014, 12:42) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    They shouldn't do that
  • Loan Shark!!! (22/11/2014, 13:12) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    LOng Saw this coming to the bvi, Credit information Theft Skimming fraud, what does the bank and the law agencies has in place if the trend of information theft, identity theft and credit card, bank card theft hit this territory, i assure you alot of folks will loose their money, the best thing to do is take all your money out of those banks who do online trnasaction, Good Old Development bank. The also should start looking from inside the bank with their investigations
    • Ummm (22/11/2014, 15:59) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is not only occurring in the BVI so don't act like the BVI system sucks that badly. Please act like credit card theft occurs all around the world
  • scotia (22/11/2014, 13:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Probably all banks
  • cbs (22/11/2014, 14:08) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I also would like to know the name of the Bank
  • asura (22/11/2014, 14:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yeah heard s bank had 180 accounts hacked or stolen
  • Dulcina (22/11/2014, 14:31) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    So why is the bank being protected with no public announcement and leaving unsuspecting depositors in the dark?
    This in and of itself is a crime!!!!!?
  • ummmmm (22/11/2014, 14:51) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Banco.....first bank
  • DON Q (22/11/2014, 14:55) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    I going keep my Lil change under me pallow
    • wize up (22/11/2014, 17:37) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
      hi DON Q;' please tell me where you live(under the pillow)..text me the info 555-5555
  • tola (22/11/2014, 15:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Scotia Bank.
  • CGB resident (22/11/2014, 15:25) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    First Bank not their first issue a much bigger story to come
  • help help (22/11/2014, 17:00) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    180 accounts we need help from the UK
    • Other article (22/11/2014, 20:18) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      Featured / News / Virgin Islands / November 20, 2014
      FirstBank VI is in the middle of a massive security breach crisis, with many of its Visa Debit card customers blocked from using their cards and some customers claiming to have had “thousands of dollars” stolen from their personal accounts. Banco Popular and Scotia Bank on St. Croix are also reporting security breaches at their institutions.

      VI Consortium was made aware of the matter earlier this week, and FirstBank today confirmed that the problem, which occurred through a security breach deriving from outside merchants, happened on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

      Alana Alexander, marketing communications manager for FirstBank VI, based in Charlotte Amalie, told VI Consortium in a telephone interview Thursday that the breach affects FirstBank locations in the USVI and BVI. Alexander issued a press release to media outlets stating that, “as a result of recent security incidents in retail locations, FirstBank’s internal security processes detected an external security breach regarding some Visa Debit card numbers.”

      When asked how many debit card customers were affected, Alexander said, “The total number of impacted cards has been identified by the business unit and we are ensuring our clients’ needs are being attended to. However, this is confidential information and we are not at liberty to disclose this information.”

      Alexander pointed out that when the bank became aware of the problem last Wednesday, bank representatives began calling “clients on a one-on-one basis” to alert them of the security breach. But, when that method proved ineffective due to outdated telephone numbers on file, Alexander said letters were mailed to customers on Monday informing them of the problem and the measures FirstBank had taken to protect their accounts.

      The measures, the bank said, included restricting the use of affected customers’ Visa Debit cards to only ATM transactions (through the ATH network) using the client’s personal identification number (PIN) and at retail locations where PIN-based sales are accepted.

      “This action was taken to ensure that the clients’ accounts were not compromised further,” Alexander explained.

      One FirstBank customer at the Sunny Isle branch in St. Croix Thursday told the VI Consortium that “hackers” had stolen “thousands of dollars” from his personal account, and that he was at the bank to alert management. The man said an employee had reviewed his account and managed to stop the theft from continuing.

      When the VI Consortium informed Alexander of the customer’s plight, she said, “A personal account cannot be hacked,” adding, “the email of this individual may have been compromised and the fraudster now has access to their information or the fraudster is originating ACH transactions via another access point.”

      For this reason, Alexander continued, FirstBank advises its customers to “ensure they have strong passwords on their email account.”

      At the same bank, another customer said he witnessed people shopping in local grocery stores whose cards had declined. One FirstBank customer also contacted VI Consortium and said his card had declined while purchasing lunch at a local restaurant earlier in the week.

      When asked if local police were alerted to the matter, Alexander said the FirstBank security breach is not one of local police jurisdiction.

      “I can disclose that the breach occurred in two U.S. retailers, therefore FirstBank does not need to involve local police authorities,” she said.

      VI Consortium also spoke with an employee at Banco Popular in Sunny Isle, who confirmed that the bank’s security had also been compromised. She said those who were affected should have received a letter in the mail explaining the problem and detailing procedures they should take. If customers did not receive a letter, the employee said they were most likely not affected. Still, the employee said customers who believe they have been affected and did not receive a letter should visit the local branch and speak with someone there.

      St. Croix’s Scotia Bank was also affected. Upon visiting the bank’s Sunny Isle branch, VI Consortium witnessed a large crowd trying to attain information from bank representatives. The VI Consortium was unable to speak with a Scotia Bank representative in person because of the influx of customers seeking information. However, after leaving a voice message for a bank representative, the VI Consortium received a return call from Christine Lee, Scotia Bank marketing director.

      Lee said the bank is aware that certain of its customers’ Visa Debit card accounts had been compromised and its fraud-detection system immediately moved to temporarily lock those accounts. She said affected customers were contacted right away, adding that customer security is the bank’s top priority. Lee also said she is not aware of any personal accounts being compromised and that only certain Visa Debit card customers were affected. She also confirmed that the security breach happened as the result of outside retailers, and hand nothing to do with an internal banking breach.

      Lee encourages affected customers to visit the local Scotia Bank branch for further information.

      The Bank of St. Croix was not affected.

      FirstBank advises its customers to visit any of its branch locations to obtain a temporary replacement card. Customers may also contact the FirstLine Solutions Center toll free at 1.866.695.2511 (USVI) and 1.284.495.8899 (BVI). In addition, the bank said it will continue to monitor all account transactions and encourages its customers to do the same through Online Banking and notify the bank immediately if any fraudulent activity is detected.

      The VI Consortium reached out to the Virgin Islands Police Department for comment on the large-scale security breach at the three banks, but had not received a response at press time.

      Local banking customers who wish to obtain a free credit report to monitor activity, may contact any of the three credit reporting agencies below:



      P.O. Box 740241

      Atlanta, GA 30374-0241



      P.O. Box 9532

      Allen, TX 75013



      P.O. Box 6790

      Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

      Consummate journalist. Storyteller. Lover of truth. As Executive Editor of the VI Consortium, I take seriously my responsibility of bringing you fair and timely news coverage of the pressing issues facing America's paradise. When I am not working (although it seems I always am), I fancy myself a budding fashionista. Feel free to email me at with your news tips or just to say hello!
      • Dulcina (23/11/2014, 17:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Thank you for this informative, comprehensive and vital information.
        VI Consortium is now on my best wish list.
  • wize up (22/11/2014, 17:35) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
    any word from the minister of finance in this matter; why do we elect people !!!!!
  • Victim (22/11/2014, 19:19) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Where is the FIA in all of this and the Minister responsible for the subject. Our monies are not safe in the banks anymore. Who is protecting the Customer?
  • Please be informed (22/11/2014, 20:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There is an article on this was out since the 20 or the 21st please read
  • Check this (22/11/2014, 20:10) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

    There was also an earlier article . This bank So far is the only one who called clients in the bvi
  • PAM (22/11/2014, 20:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Keep up people! Card holders in the USVI was also compromised and they named the bank.
  • more banks (22/11/2014, 20:37) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    It is taking first bank one year to resolve a fraud issue on my card. It has been a very long frustrating process. It would certainly be nice to see other banks come in. Where are the marketing folks to bring them in? Divert the wasted money from chasing yesteryear tourist marketing that yields no profit, head up to NY and let those boys in mid Manhattan know that BVI exist. We have muchos office space, expert local staff, great weather, etc. what say you? Hon Fraser I am tasking you with this. Let us get this country back to its rightful place. Enough of the pappy show.
  • huh (22/11/2014, 20:44) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes we know cardholders in the Usvi were compromised. My question why do people have to wait three months to regain access to their hard earn money????
  • hire staff (22/11/2014, 20:52) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    See what does happen when you play cheap and won't hire sufficient staff? Now wasn't it better to hire staff?
  • AC 360 (22/11/2014, 22:39) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    Where is Dr Smith the minister of Finance???? The ndp is the most incompetent government in the history of the bvi...ndp must go!
  • Blogfrog. (23/11/2014, 08:33) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hmmmm.......Don't the Banks penalized customers for late payments, overdrafts, bounce checks etc? Let's get some equal rights and Justice! Customers UNITE and fight for your rights to have access to your hard earn money! Demand adequate compensation for the inconvenience!
  • DISGUSSED (23/11/2014, 09:51) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    It would seems that the bank is not operating for the best interest of its customers but on how to maximize profits. Sorry to learn that your accounts have been comprised and you did not even get an official notice from the bank regarding same. Anyway, this isn't anything new with that particular bank when it comes to making its customers feel that they belong and appreciated. Things do happen but it's how you handle it!
  • Dulcina (23/11/2014, 16:45) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Are deposits at these banks insured?

  • Insured (23/11/2014, 17:43) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    FDIC except in the BVI !
  • jacoby (23/11/2014, 18:42) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    And that bank is putting through service charges to their customers accounts every second, and you cant get a handle on the amount as it changes so often, where is the FSC in all this? I was sticking it out with that bank because the people are nice and they have the best service of all the banks, but nickle and diming its customers aint right and now customers have to wait months to get back their money which was compromised, its just not right, who looking out for the little man?
  • Goneair (23/11/2014, 18:50) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    My account is also frozen, this is wrong, nobody can give me a definite explanation as to when I can have access to my account. It seem to me that theres no one in charge at Scotia Bank, it also seems to me that they have something to hide. As soon as I can have access to my funds I moving my account.
  • johnnyC (23/11/2014, 19:00) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    Who is this Best guy anyway, first I am hearing of him and I bank there. Every time I go in there there is a new face at the counter, I getting uncomfortable, something just isnt right. And where is the FIA, FSC and President of Banks in all this? BVI we in a sad state. I know what I going do.
  • bbb (23/11/2014, 19:07) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    I still believe in Socitiabank
  • Customer (23/11/2014, 21:31) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    The Best guy is now the new branch manager and I'm not impressed with him at all. He gave me his business card and said I could call if I have a problem. I did have a bank problem and I have called him on numerous occasions and he never had the courtesy to once returned my call although messages were left on his voicemail. I guess they forget that without bank customers the bank doors would be closed and that most businesses are built on referrals!
    • @ Customer (23/11/2014, 22:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      this is such a make up story for that s not how Ryan operates so go from here with that hate!!
    • fortruth (24/11/2014, 09:14) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      I met Mr Best and I am impressed by him, a very likeable personality and he returned my calls as promised. I guess you are just a one off because a lot f people like him.
    • much much better (24/11/2014, 19:27) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      The reality is Ryan is a billion times better than that Smith lady they had before!
      • jefonet (24/11/2014, 22:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

        Disgruntled ex scotiabank employee go sit your backside down,
        You not fooling
        anyone. Apply the training she gave you

    • Scotia Customer (25/11/2014, 08:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Mr, Best is an action man. He gets results . Even when the floor is busy he rolls up his sleeve and help out. I have seen him in action
  • Plank (24/11/2014, 07:16) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Its all common-sense. "debit cards without pin numbers are very risky". No matter how I asked my bank for a pin for my debit card, they kept assuring me that I don`t need a pin, it is safe, but my common-sense is telling me something else. that its risky, for that reason or fear I never use my debit card overseas. I am more than happy to hear the bank say get a pin for your debit card. Hope my bank is listening!
  • ccc (25/11/2014, 08:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    better late than never
  • Elizabeth (25/11/2014, 09:03) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well yeah girl. Of course you would have to refund the customers. Thats just Obama and FATCA testing the triggers to get war money when nobody reports.
  • Concern 1 (25/11/2014, 15:10) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    I wonder if this is an inside job knowing full well that Scotia,ROB,HSBC and several others banks are closing their doors or laying off works,therefore we all must be paid in full some way or the other. Inside job that looks like an outside job
  • so it is (25/11/2014, 19:32) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    This bank always on top of things.

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