Fraud Squad Arrested Five Persons a Month for Fraudulent Electronic Transactions in 2018

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The Police’s Fraud Squad says in 2018, it arrested, on average, just over five persons per month for fraudulent electronic transactions.

According to the Fraud Squad, which is a branch of the Constabulary’s Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) approximately $633-million was the total sum of money involved in all the reports of fraud for last year. But, it estimates that just over $200-million of that sum was lost to electronic fraud.

Statistics obtained from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, show there’s been an average decline of almost 30-per cent over the past three years in reports of fraudulent electronic transactions.

The Constabulary’s Fraud Squad says last year, it received 220 reports of fraudulent electronic transactions. Of that figure, 92 were reports of skimming at automated teller machines, ATMs. Another 53 reports of fraudulent transactions happened at points of sale.

According to the Fraud Squad, there were 22 reports from people who said they were victims of electronic fraud at both ATMs and points of sale.

The Fraud squad says there were 20 reports of people being defrauded through third-party transactions and another seven people were defrauded while making purchases online.

The remaining 26 people were defrauded through what the Fraud Squad calls other means. But the 220 reports in 2018 represent an almost 37 percent decline from the 352 incidents reported in 2017.

For the year 2016 reports were even higher at 426. The decline in reports from 2016 to 2017 is almost 18 percent.

The Fraud Squad notes that the act of fraudulent electronic transactions isn’t being done by a lot of people.

Rather, the Fraud Squad says it’s one or two small groups of people carrying out the bulk of the illegal activity.

The Fraud Squad says it made 62 arrests last year for fraudulent electronic transactions. It says it has a case clear up rate of 30-per cent.

According to the Fraud Squad, the total sum of money involved in all the reports of fraud for last year stood at $633-million. But, the Fraud Squad estimates that just over $200-million of that sum was lost to electronic fraud.

The Fraud Squad says there are also many instances where people make reports that their cards were cloned, but, investigations reveals collusion between the complainant and the alleged scammer.

Meanwhile, Head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McLaughlin, says despite the decline in reports of fraudulent electronic transactions he’s still warning that people should be vigilant.

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Superintendent McLaughlin says checks can also be made to determine if an automated teller machine has been tampered with.

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In the meantime, an alleged victim of a fraudulent electronic transaction told news centre yesterday that he was defrauded $600,000 after his debit card was skimmed.

The man says the money was taken from his account in multiple transactions over a weekend. The alleged victim, who asked that his identity be withheld, says each transaction was valued at roughly $100,000. The man also told our news team the transactions occurred at three popular gaming lounges in the corporate area.

According to the man, at least one of the fraudulent transactions occurred at the same time he was making a purchase miles away at a popular supermarket.

The man is calling on both the bank and the gaming lounge to implement stronger protocols to guard against this type of fraudulent activity.

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William Mitchell is a sports-fanatic turned journalist. He graduated from CARIMAC in 2016. He interned at the Jamaica Gleaner covering sports and joined NNN in 2017. Mitchell covers crime for Nationwide. He’s been to every single zone of special operations across the island.


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