FCU still faces scam victims

| 27/11/2008

(CNS): Despite persistent warnings a number of people in the Cayman Islands still appear to be falling for frauds and scams generated through email and faxes taking up the valuable time of officers within the Financial Crimes Unit (FCU) which has dealt with some five victims this year alone. While the unit is tasked with dealing with the reports from those defrauded by online, email or fax scams, there is, in virtually all cases, nothing officers can do to recover lost funds.

Detective Constable Adrian Neblett from the FCU gave a special presentation last night, (Wednesday 26 November) as part of the East End District Police meeting hosted by area commander Richard Barrow. Neblett said that too many people were not looking closely at these scams and were just seeing the numbers. “We are all human and we make mistakes but these are scams and people need to know that we cannot help them when they fall prey to these international, internet based frauds. Once you send money to these people it’s gone,” Neblett warned.

The Detective said that the scammers use a variety of tricks and scenarios to con people out of money, selling expensive and rare breeds of puppies which they promise they can ship to Cayman, some pretend to be charities seeking help for disasters or the needy around the world, others use official institutions such as the IRS to hide there scams behind and many tell the email recipient that they are winners of a lottery, prize draw or even an inheritance.

Many originate in West Africa usually involving requests to transfer money to your bank account to get large sums of money out of the hands of a corrupt governments and other such nonsense. Neblett said that people should not send money as a result of solicited invitations on the internet or open emails from anyone they do not know. He said invariable while the deceptions may be dressed up in different guises they all request personal information such as dates of birth or banking details and inevitably money.

The FCU is a relatively small unit and is currently dealing with a number of complex financial cases not least the collapse of the Grand Island Fund earlier this year which has resulted in the arrest of one man so far, as well as the fraud alleged to have been committed by the former president of the UCCI, among others.

However, Neblett did say that despite persistent warnings the unit was having to deal with reports from victims in the community regarding these internet based crimes which they are powerless to address and which could have been avoided if people took more care and exercised caution rather than just seeing the big tempting numbers.  “We do have to give some attention to these reports but we can’t do much more than take the details we can’t solve the crime,” he added. Neblett said while the unit was not spending a lot of time on it the unit cold not simply ignore the victims.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I cant believe PEOPLE are still falling for these scams .Come on now how many people in the WORLD have you seen win REAL money like that .I dump EVERYONE THAT COME THROUGH MY MAIL BOX .I wrote and told them once if i really won please take your portion out and send me the rest instead of me sending my bank account .As they already have the mailing address .Well thats 12 to 15 years ago and it still not come .I may not have education but i got COMMON SENSE scams are like the DEVIL it comes in many forms.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes whatever happened to the Caymanian officers. All we see lately is non Caymanians telling us about crime in Cayman. Whats up with this. In regards to Derek Haines he always surrounded himself with the most capable Caymanian officers in the RCIPS.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow, it is unbelievale how people can be so foolish. How can you win a lottery if you never bought a ticket? This is what I asked someone who told me they had won $2 million online and wanted to send their personal details to these scammers. Amazing what people will believe. The police are right. It is hard to catch these scammers, as they are all over the world. Our police have enough craziness to deal with right here, than to have to worry about ‘wanna-get-rich-quick-residents-with-no-sense’. Stop harrassing the police about losing money when it is your fault for believing these scams.  

  4. former attorney says:

    The Police always seem to have and excuse lately. The facts are however that the only successful prosecution ever done in the entire caribbean region of such a Scam. Was done right here in the Cayman Islands and prosecuted in Cayman Courts and it  involved three Nigerian nationals a Colonel a doctor and Businessman. It involved a Conspiracy to Defraud charge being laid by a former Caymanian police officer who under Derek Haines and has since left the Police service.The investigation also led to a huge drug bust in Rhode island area of the US involving 13 members of a Nigerian Heroin smuggling Ring  which the attorney General of United states at the time Mrs Janet Reno was on CNN annoucing the Bust. Sadly those days are gone as is some of the Best officers the RCIPS had. We are merely left with the current  sad state of affairs.