Police issue more warnings over text scammers

| 13/01/2011

(CNS): Despite the endless warnings from the unit that emails and text messages telling people they have won cash prizes are just about always scams, Officers from the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit, along with local telecom firm Digicel and LIME are raising the alarm again about fraudulent texts. Cell phone users are being warned to be on the lookout for a text message that suggest they’ve won a cash prize which the police have pointed out is a scam. Customers throughout the Cayman Islands have reportedly been receiving fraudulent text messages from an unknown source saying they have won thousands in a promotion but Digicel and Lime say it is not connected to them.

“Legitimate text messages from the company are always accompanied by Digicel’s name or a four (4) digit number,” Digicel’s CEO Victor Corcoran said. “Our clients should never sending personal information, for example, bank details and addresses, to unknown or suspicious senders whether via text message or over the internet.”

Julie Hutton, Marketing Manager for LIME said the firm advises anyone who receivesa text that they are suspicious of to contact the call centre at 811. “All our promotional or informational texts come with the heading LIME. We also want to take this opportunity to remind people to be vigilant with regards to e-mails and never give out personal details including user names and passwords, LIME would never ask a customer for these details,” she added.

Sgt Michael Montaque from the FSU warned the public to watch out for all emails, faxes, text messages or letters that promise a large sum.

“Over the years, the stories used by fraudsters in these scams have become much more sophisticated and technologically advanced. There are a wide variety of scams circulating out there,” he said. “These communications will appear to come from legitimate companies. They can include company logos and addresses taken from the internet – all to make them look more legitimate and to persuade you to part with your banking details and money.

“Once you have responded with your bank details, the scammers may simply try to clean out your account. They might ask you to send them money to ‘release funds’ via money transfer. Or they may send you a fake cheque, asking you to cash it and send them a small amount to release the ‘rest of your winnings’.”

He pointed out that the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to never give out your bank details.

Further information about how to avoid becoming the victim of scams can be obtained by calling the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit on 949-8797. Digicel customers can call 100 from Digicel mobiles or 345-623-3444 from landlines for further information.

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