Scammers working overtime in pandemic

| 30/09/2020 | 0 Comments

(CNS): There has been an increase in financial scams since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the RCIPS Financial Crime Investigation Unit has warned. The unit is urging people to be wary of any kind of ‘get rich quick’ scheme, or investments that promise a substantial financial return in a very short period of time. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is, the financial cops said in a release.

Even if such schemes do provide a financial benefit, often there are several other people who have lost money as part of the same scheme, and to avoid being taken advantage of, it is generally best to avoid such schemes altogether, the FCIU advised.

Another tactic being used to solicit funds is cloning local phone numbers and activating WhatsApp on a separate cell phone. They culprits then message the original holder of the phone number, pretending to be a friend, and ask them to send the verification code, which they will claim was sent to them by mistake. The scammers then go on to impersonate the holder of the phone number and message friends asking for cash via money transfer, due to an illness or emergency.

“As always, members of the public should be wary of anyone requesting sensitive information or transfer of funds via email or instant message, and avoid sending such information or funds. If there is reason to suspect the request is not valid, it is best to get a final confirmation by speaking in person, or via voice or video call,” the police said.

Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a financial scam is encouraged to contact the Financial Crime Investigation Unit at or 949-8797.

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Category: Crime, Police

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