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FCU warns beware of spike in online scams

Online scams have become more prevalent in Cayman, with scammers continuously finding new ways to deceive the average unsuspecting person. But Financial Crimes Unit Detective Dean Murray says awareness can help stop you from becoming a victim.

“The criminals really are one step ahead and they are changing their activities and their profiles and their means of attack all the time.” says Detective Dean Murray.

However Financial Crimes Unit Detective Murray says stopping yourself from becoming a victim takes recognizing the red flags as an online user.

“If they’re only using social media to contact you and you have no face to face interaction, that’s got to be a concern to you. If they are asking you for money to go through a remittance agency you’ve got to be very concerned about that.” said Detective Murray.

Recently two people fell victim to a babysitter scam using the guise of employment to gain identification papers . That scam is just one of many reported to the FCU.

Detective Murray gave details of how the babysitter hoax happened, “The young lady here responded to the family in the US who had posted a picture on EcayTrade of a Caucasian and white family. Eventually she spoke to them personally. She became suspicious because the alleged father of the family had a strong African accent.”

Unfortunately that victim realized something was amiss after providing copies of her I.D. and passport. However Detective Murray says there are red flags to keep online users safe. He says the goals are simple for these online scams.

Detective Murray says, “What they want is cash or I.D. documents to take over someone’s I.D. You give them your identity, you give them your passport your I.D. card, your bank account details, they’re gonna be setting up a fictitious account somewhere.”

If you become a victim of a scam you must make sure to act quickly to rectify the situation.

Detective Murray says in the event something happens you should, “Notify the bank. Get all your cards cancelled. With identification get to your consulate, go to the consulate get your passport cancelled. Get any I.D. documents cancelled.”

From phishing emails to the more recent fake babysitter ads posted on EcayTrade con artists are truly trying to perfect their craft.

Detective Murray is urging the public to always exercise caution in online interactions.

 

About the author

Felicia Rankin

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