independent

Saturday 25 October 2014

Minister among 'skimmer' victims

David Medcalf

Published 12/11/2013 | 05:42

An ATM at AIB Bank in Enniscorthy is out of service.

MINISTER of State Paul Kehoe was just one among scores of customers stung as skimmers hit the ATM machines in Enniscorthy Slaney Place and Mill Park Road. Thousands of euro were siphoned illegally out of accounts after details were stripped off bank cards used in the two cash dispensers.

Minister of State Paul Kehoe was just one among scores of customers stung as skimmers hit the ATM machines in Enniscorthy Slaney Place and Mill Park Road. Thousands of euro were siphoned illegally out of accounts after details were stripped off bank cards used in the two cash dispensers.

Customers have been assured that they will be re-imbursed after their money was apparently removed at machines in the United States. But the account holders were put to the inconvenience of having to call in to their local branch of AIB or Bank or Ireland to sort out the mess.

'I lost a couple of hundred but I believe others lost thousands,' said one B of I regular after calling to his branch at Mill Park Road. 'They said it will take a couple of days but we will be re-imbursed. I used the ATM machine on Thursday and the money went out on Friday.'

Chief Whip Paul Kehoe found he was one of more than 50 customers waiting to have their skimmed accounts sorted out when he went to the Bank yesterday (Monday) morning. He admitted that hundreds of euro had gone astray, withdrawn at an ATM in distant Chicago.

He was notified of the fraud on Sunday when he received a phone call followed by a text and he was most impressed by the way in which officials dealt with the problem: 'My praise and compliments to Bank of Ireland for the way they handled this,' he commented. 'They were excellent.'

He last used his Pass card on Monday, November 4 at the Enniscorthy branch but it was several days later before the dubious transaction in Chicago set alarm bells ringing on a computer at bank headquarters back in Ireland. He said he had also spoken to AIB customers who had also lost hundereds of euro.

As he made arrangements to order a new card, the Fine Gael politician reckoned that such scams are now happening wholesale. Bank of Ireland issued a short statement yesterday: 'Bank of Ireland wishes to reassure customers that it is their policy to refund customers any losses as a result of ATM skimming incidents. The Bank confirms that it is investigating a skimming incident at its Enniscorthy ATM and the incident is currently under investigation by the Gardai.'

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