By LEANDRA ROLLE
A “trend of fraudulent activities” has been occurring in the country, police revealed yesterday.
Some of these trends observed include third party transfer fraud, credit card fraud, fraudulent cheques and sham marriages.
Police discussed these matters during a press conference held at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre. Officers also addressed traffic safety initiatives that will be implemented for the start of the fall school semester.
Sergeant Donald Rolle said police want the public to be sensitised to what fraud actually is.
“Fraud, in a nutshell, is basically deceit, when we use any type of false pretence to trick persons or to deceive them into giving you money for various reasons. We have a lot of complex fraud matters that we’ve been investigating over the past several years,” he said.
Sgt Rolle continued: “We’ve had reports from members of the public as well as several of the local banks where persons have reported that there are accounts or cases of the banks where their clients accounts have been compromised and in doing so, persons have been able to gain access to their online banking profiles and have been transferring fund to other persons within the same bank or another bank.”
Speaking further on third party transfer fraud transactions, Sgt Rolle pointed out that people targeted seemed to be those “with large quantities of funds.”
He continued that Bahamians ought to be mindful of persons approaching them to use their accounts.
Speaking at the same event, Corporal Jared Turnquest addressed the issue of sham marriages, calling it a “very dangerous and troubling trend.”
“What was happening were persons were being approached and asked to get married to persons to get paid. Usually the persons getting married were foreigners and the purpose for getting the marriage obviously for these foreigners was to obtain status, to obtain other documents, work permits, citizenship, papers or passports, etc,” he said.
It was also revealed by police that individuals targeted to get married usually tended to be persons between 18 and their early 20s.
Just last month, three Bahamians and two Haitians were charged in Magistrate’s Court with matters related to fraudulent marriages.
When asked which nationality tended to participate most in fraudulent marriage schemes, police replied that they were Haitian nationals.
Other fraud related trends highlighted at the press conference included credit card fraud and fraudulent cheques.
Although statistics concerning the increase of overall fraud in the country were not revealed yesterday, police have said that compared to last year, they have seen an increase of reports in relation to third party transfer fraud.
Police warned the public to be cautious and mindful of these activities.
At the press conference, Chief Superintendent Craig Stubbs also discussed traffic initiatives for the new school year.
“Last school year, we have had a number of accidents where we saw a number of persons… kids were being exited into oncoming traffic and that’s putting your child at risk and cases like that, we have to lay heavy charges against those crimes,” he said.
The Bahamian public is encouraged to follow road traffic laws and regulations. CSP Stubbs said officers would be at school zones and the Gladstone Road corridor, recording speed zones and ensuring everyone’s safety.