Texting scam troubles LIME, Digicel

Cayman’s
two largest phone companies, along with local police, are warning cell phone
users to be on the lookout for a text message that suggest they’ve won a cash
prize.

Royal
Cayman Islands Police officers from the Financial Crimes Unit said it’s just
the latest scam being perpetrated on Cayman Islands residents.

“If
you do receive such a message do not respond,” said RCIPS Sergeant Michael
Montaque.

According
to police, cell phone customers throughout the Cayman Islands have recently
received 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.

Both
Digicel and LIME have confirmed that the companies have no affiliation with
whoever is sending the messages.

“Legitimate
text messages from the company are always accompanied by Digicel’s name or a
four digit number,” said Digicel CEO Victor Corcoran. “Our clients should never
send 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 623-3444 from landlines for
further information, police said.

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.”

In
general, police advise individuals to watch out for emails, texts, faxes or letters
that promise a large sum of money. 

“Over
the years, the stories used by fraudsters in these scams have become much more
sophisticated and technologically advanced,” Sergeant Montaque said. “There is
a wide variety of scams circulating out there.”

One
such ripoff attempt that involved some local banks was reported last week in
the Compass.

It
involves an email sent to bank customers that states “Your account is
overdrawn”.

Below
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”.

In
one example seen by the Compass, 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.

“These
communications will appear to come from legitimate companies,” Mr. Montaque
said. “They can include company logos and addresses taken from the Internet –
all to make them look more legitimate and to persuade you to part with your
banking details and money.

“Once
you have responded with your bank details, the scammers may simply try to clean
out your account. They might ask you to send them money to ‘release funds’ via
money transfer. Or they may send you a fake cheque, asking you to cash it and
send them a small amount to release the ‘rest of your winnings,” he said.

Police
said the best way to avoid becoming a victim is not to respond to emails,
texts, letters or faxes from people you don’t know.

 

Additional
information about how to avoid becoming the victim of scams can be obtained by
calling the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit on 949-8797.

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