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Dangriga Businessman Loses $5K On the Heels of Cyber Security Symposium

The first ever national symposium on cyber security took place during April 24 to 28, 2017 with an aim to look at the issue on multiple angles.  It is a move that is very much needed in this time and age when identities are being stolen and bank transactions can be done quite easily from a computer.  There is a story that was published over the weekend in the Curacao Chronicle which cited the woes of a Belizean couple whose credit card was maxed out without their knowledge.  While the Chulin family was able to recover their monies some years ago, there is a businessman in Dangriga who was not so fortunate.  As recent as last month, a Belizean resort owner in Dangriga found that five thousand Belize dollars was transferred out of his bank account without his approval or knowledge.  When he made a query to the bank, the transferred was verified but according to the bank, there was nothing they could do for him.  In a letter sent to him from the Senior Manager of Customer Service, the bank noted, quote, “We advise that after conducting a thorough investigation into the matter we find nothing to suggest that the transaction is fraudulent and as such we are not in a position to refund/reverse the transaction as you had requested on April 18, 2017.”The businessman has made a report to the police and the person who received the money was picked up and the two, who were complete strangers, were able to address the matter where the businessman recovered some of the monies.  No charges have been levied against the woman as she is claiming it was an innocent mistake on her part.  So, how was it possible for the withdrawal of five thousand dollars from the businessman’s account?  And, how is it that the bank is unable to detect any fraud in the transfer?  It is incidents like these that the information gathered at the symposium seeks to address as they met with several agencies including the Central Bank of Belize, the Belize Police Department as well as several business executives.  The article in the Curacao Chronicle ended by stating, quote, “On the back of this historic event, the nation of Belize has emerged as an unlikely leader in the region, presenting a model for how other Caribbean jurisdictions can prepare for, defend against and respond to growing cyber threats.”  End of quote.