The Fraud Squad of the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) continues to make significant strides in the fight against electronic fraud in Jamaica.
Since the start of the year, the police have arrested a number of persons involved in phishing and smishing activities targeting local bank account holders.
From January 1 to January 25, 2024, investigators successfully arrested and charged six individuals for various offences related to fraudulent activities, cumulatively involving funds amounting to just under JMD $6-million.
These offences include Unauthorized Access to Computer Data, Simple Larceny, Conspiracy to Defraud, Unlawfully Making Data/Device Available for the Commission of an Offence, and Breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The individuals arrested and charged are:
• Odean Watson – J$ 900,000.00
• Dahjean Daley – J$ 92,000.00
• Shadessa Thomas – J$ 2,000,000.00
• Camoya Hunter – J$ 2,300,000.00
• Nicholas Neisbeth (Charged jointly with Hunter)
• Jewel Williams – J$ 689,000.00
The total sum defrauded is J$ 5,981,000.00.
These arrests underscore our commitment to protecting our citizens from these evolving cyber threats. We are determined to stay ahead of these illicit activities and ensure the safety and security of all bank account holders.
In recent years, Jamaica has witnessed a significant trend in electronic fraud (eFraud) incidents. In 2022, a total of 320 cases of eFraud were reported, with the financial impact amounting to J$120,302,038 and USD $19,785,190. The following year, 2023, saw a slight increase in the number of reports, totalling 355. However, there was a notable change in the value of these frauds, which amounted to J$169,033,677 and USD $219,919. This data highlights a concerning rise in eFraud activities, reflecting an evolving challenge in cybersecurity and financial protection within the country.
We also wish to caution all bank account holders to remain vigilant. If you are approached to use your account to facilitate transactions by unfamiliar parties, please be aware that this could be part of a fraudulent scheme. Participating in such activities, knowingly or unknowingly, can lead to serious legal consequences, including arrest, charges, and court proceedings.
The CTOC’s Fraud Squad is dedicated to relentless pursuit and prosecution of individuals engaging in these illegal activities. We are enhancing our strategies and employing advanced technologies to tackle these crimes effectively.
We urge the public to report any suspicious activities to the authorities immediately. Your cooperation is vital in our collective fight against these complex and damaging crimes.