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Police warning on fraud trends

THE Royal Bahamas Police Force has advised the public to be alert to fraud trends that are taking place in the country - one of which uses web shops to funnel money, while another lures victims under the guise of companionship and love.

On Friday, the police said fraudsters have been making contact with potential victims usually through social media advertising products like vehicles and boats and services.

Police said the fraudsters show photos and other documents to give the impression of proof of validity and authenticity and ask victims for the funds to be wired or deposited onto web shop accounts.

“After the funds are deposited contact is severed and efforts to reach to fraudster are fruitless,” police said in a press statement on Friday. “Members of the public are advised to be aware of products offered online by persons who require funds to be deposited onto web shop accounts.

“Legitimate businesses do not operate their finances via those means.”

In another method, police said fraudsters have been soliciting funds from foreign nationals for various applicant services like work permits, residency permits, account openings, etc.

Due to language barriers, oftentimes foreign nationals are not comfortable with the application process. So, fraudsters present themselves as facilitators offering to assist the victims in obtaining permits.

However, police said after receiving funds from victims they disappear.

Police are reminding members of the public that there are standard application procedures, many of them offered online for government permits.

“There are also legitimate companies that offer their services to assist applicants in applying for those permits,” police said.

Additionally, fraudsters from other jurisdictions have been reaching out to unsuspecting victims via social media under the guise of friendship, companionship, and love.

Police said expensive gifts are promised with the condition of some sort of fee for processing/customs. Victims eager for these gifts send funds, usually via money transfer services to jurisdictions outside of The Bahamas.

If funds are sent, additional funds are usually requested again and again.

Police advised members of the public to be cautious about their social media and online activity.

“Be careful with the amount and type of information that is posted by you, as this information can be utilised by fraudsters looking to exploit it. Furthermore, customs fees are never paid to an outside jurisdiction via money transfer,” police said.

Comments

JokeyJack 3 months ago

I wonder if there have been any fraudsters intercepting our VAT money? They find out yet where it gone? This might be related, maybe.

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temptedbythefruitofanother 3 months ago

What's worse, getting ripped off by a fraudster via a Webshop account or getting ripped off by depositing your money to your own Webshop account and gambling it away? At least in scenario A you have .00001% chance of retaining your money

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Sickened 3 months ago

How can they not track money through the web shops? Sounds like there is no due diligence being done. Are web shops just a huge money laundering scheme with gaming as a side gig?

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John 3 months ago

Another Avenue for fraud is ads on the internet. A number of ads for items on Facebook are fake. Both local and international. And there’s no way to tell until you give them your money. Best to pay through PayPal. At least you stand some chance of getting your money back. Some fraudsters go also far as to send fake tracking numbers. And only after you go to the courier you find out it’s not your package. They do this to buy time because you have to put a claim with PayPal within 90 days of payment.

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