Categorized | National News

Police Alert Public on Growing Fraud Trends

Addressing the growing issue of fraud in The Bahamas, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) yesterday highlighted fraud trends that police have been investigating over the past several years.

One of the trends discussed was third party transfers. 

Police indicated that they received reports from both members of the public and several commercial banks where accounts have been compromised.

In doing so, they said individuals have been able to gain access to the victims’ online banking profiles and transferring funds to another account either with the same bank or another.  

“We want persons out there to be mindful of persons approaching you and asking you to use your account,” Supervisor of the Anti-crime and Anti-corruption Unit Sergeant Donald Rolle said.

“In most cases, we’ve seen where persons have told victims they don’t have a bank account and want to use your bank account for whatever reason. So, we want you to know this is a very organized scam. So, do not give your bank account information to anyone.”

Up to July 2019, there have been 12 matters reported to police and four persons have been charged before the courts. 

Two males and two females were reportedly involved in these crimes with an overall value of $61,000.

Fraudulent marriage scams are also said to be on the RBPF’s radar. 

“What was happening was persons were being approached and asked to get married to get paid. Usually, the persons who were getting married were foreigners and the purpose was to obtain or obtain other documents for citizenship,” Financial Detective Corporal Jared Turnquest said.

“This is a dangerous and troubling trend for us because in order to obtain some of these documents whether it be citizenship or work permits, we find that fraudulent documents are now being used to apply for those benefits.”

Corporal Turnquest added that the recruiters and their recruits have both been arrested and charged before the courts. 

He said the public should be aware that it’s an offense to get married for a financial benefit and according to the Immigration Act, Bahamian citizens found guilty in this regard can be fined and/or imprisoned while foreigners receive an automatic deportation. 

Police are also investigating credit card fraud.

“We found that patrons have been going to restaurants, hotels and business areas and presenting their credit cards. You have employees of these establishments, some of them are obviously dishonest, they are using credit card skimmers or taking photos of the front and back of the card,” Corporal Turnquest said.

“If they skim the card, they are able to obtain the information that is embedded on the magnetic strip, making them transfer that information onto blank magnetic cards and they will then create a totally new card.”

Police have been successful in ceasing a number of these skimming and embossing machines. 

Officers would like to advise the public to ensure that all transactions are done in their view and check their account regularly to ensure there is no suspicious transactions. 

Up to July of 2019, there have been 44 credit card fraud cases reported to the Financial Crimes Unit, 14 of them have been brought before the court.

Fourteen males and six females were reportedly involved in such crimes with a total value of $250,000.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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