Financial scams abound in Grand Cayman, it seems.
A day after the Caymanian Compass first reported a banking scam aimed at Butterfield, officers from the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit, Digicel and LIME warned cell phone users to be on the lookout for a text message that suggest they’ve won a cash prize.
“If you do receive such a message do not respond – it’s a scam,” said Sgt Michael Montaque.
Recently cell phone customers throughout the Cayman Islands have been receiving fraudulent text messages from an unknown source. The text suggests that the customer has won hundreds of thousands of pounds in a new year promotion.
Digicel’s CEO, Victor Corcoran reassures customers that Digicel has no affiliation with the sender.
“Legitimate text messages from the company are always accompanied by Digicel’s name or a four digit number,” he said. “Our clients should never sending personal information, for example, bank details and addresses, to unknown or suspicious senders whether via text message or over the internet.”
Digicel customers can call 100 from Digicel mobiles or 345-623-3444 from landlines for further information.
Julie Hutton, Marketing Manager for LIME said: “LIME advises anyone who receives a text that they are suspicious of to contact our call centre at 811. All our promotional or informational texts come with the heading LIME. We also want to take this opportunity to remind people to be vigilant with regards to e-mails and never give out personal details including user names and
passwords, LIME would never ask a customer for these details.”
A slew of bank scams in the Cayman Islands didn’t end with the holidays, it seems.
A new email going around in the past week has been identified by police as the latest scam attempt on bank customers.
The email subject states “Your account is overdrawn”.
It is a brief message purporting to alert the customer that an account (with last four digits listed) has been overdrawn, and it asks the user to click on a website if they “have any questions about this message”.
Those clicking on the message are taken to a link that appears to be a Butterfield Bank website, but it is not. Police suspect that whoever is sending the message is really “phishing” – searching for personal details of the potential scam victim.
The email message appears to be genuine and even uses the Butterfield logo.
Local banks have been warning customers of such scam attempts since late November when a number of different attempts to gain access to account details appeared.
“The Royal Cayman Islands Police Financial Crime Unit warns banking customers to be very wary of email alerts advising that there is a problem with your account and further provide you with a link with your banking institution logo,” said Sgt. Michael Montaque. “This is just another way for the criminals to come at you in order to obtain your banking information. Best practice is to stay on guard and just not click on the link provided but to immediately contact your bank on the matter.
Police have identified a number of scams aimed at bank customers over the last two months in the Cayman Islands. Three in particular are recurring problems, according to the RCIPS.
Money muling is a scam in which the victim is duped into taking part in a money laundering scheme, mainly through online banking sites and money transfers. Victims can be recruited in a number of ways, including direct email solicitation, bogus job adverts, instant messaging and classified adverts – either in newspapers or online.
In this scam, criminals buy items or products from their victim and then deposit too much money in the victim’s bank account. The criminal and the victim never meet face-to-face and all communication is carried out online. The criminal then requests that the victim send the refund to a third party in an overseas bank account or via a money transfer service
Email direct approach
The third, and most common method of fraud is through a direct approach via email. The perpetrators craft the email to appear as though it comes from a reputable institution or organisation using logos, false websites and names to encourage you to part with your personal information.
If you have any questions about correspondence received, police ask that you contact the Financial Crime Unit at 949-8797.