The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is warning residents that attempting to cash counterfeit travellers cheques is an offence that could lead to a 10-year prison sentence.
The warning comes from The Financial Crimes Unit, which is investigating several cases where people have come into possession of, or attempted to cash, forged cheques that they have received from overseas.
This particular scam involves traveller’s cheques being sent to recipients from aboard. They are not signed or counter signed but they are dated and made payable to the recipient. These cheques are fake and anyone that receives these types of cheques should contact detectives in the FCU on 949-8797 as soon as possible.
Detectives are also advising people that if they receive correspondence with the following characteristics, it is more than likely to be bogus or seeking to scam or defraud:
• A letter or e-mail from someone you have never heard of offering you money for doing basically nothing, other than claiming the cash;
• Originating from a foreign country. (Many of them come from Nigeria or an African country; however more recently these types of communications are originating from other parts of the world including China, Russia, Middle East and Europe.);
• The sender wants you to act urgently;
• There is usually money tied up in some bank account, will or hidden vault. Sometimes, the sender proposes to simply send you a cheque (which will be forged);
• The sender usually asks you to keep it confidential;
• If asked, the sender will tell you that your name was obtained from the consulate or some other source that you probably never gave your name to.
• The sender will try to alleviate your scepticism by calling you, showing you official looking documents, or have the other associates contact you to vouch to the legitimacy of the proposed endeavour;
• Other common characteristics include lots of misspellings, typos, appeals to God, calling you a friend, referring to you as honest or trustworthy, a reference to a barrister or government official as a partner and use of generic language e.g. Sir, your country.
Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.