Police Warn About Two Online Frauds Circulating

October 19, 2021

The police have issued a warning about “two forms of online fraud currently circulating within the community.”

A police spokesperson said, “One form involves persons being contacted on social media platforms such as Instagram, by individuals they believe to be family members or friends. The “family/friend” would then pitch an investment opportunity, promising a same day return on their initial investment, which is never received. Persons have lost substantial amounts of money as a result.

“In the second type of fraud, persons are being contacted via email, again by others purporting to be a family member or friend. The unsuspecting individual is asked to purchase Apple and or PlayStation cards. They are then asked to provide the card codes to the party who sent the initial email.

“Persons who have purchased these cards have later contacted, by other means, the family member or friend whom they were led to believe requested they purchase these cards, only to discover no such request was made by them.

“The following are red flags associated with these two forms of online fraud:

  • Investments offering unusually high returns.
  • Investments with guaranteed success.
  • Requires you to pay an upfront fee.
  • Pressure to act immediately or lose the opportunity.
  • Investments offering quick turnaround time for profits.
  • Request to purchase gift cards such as Apple cards, PlayStation cards etc.
  • Request to scratch the coating off the gift card and to send the code.

“Detective Chief Inspector Sherwin Joseph, who heads up the Specialists Investigations Department, offered the following advice:

  • “If contacted online or via email by persons offering an investment opportunity, utilize another means of communication to confirm their identity.
  • “Do not provide your personal information online, unless able to properly identify those requesting that information.
  • “Avoid online communication with unknown persons.
  • “Be suspicious. If it sounds too good to be true, it more often than not, usually is.”

“Any incidents of suspected online fraud should be reported to the Financial Crime Unit on telephone number 247-1757 or, via email address Group-FCU@bps.bm.”

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