Jamaicans conned in Cayman job scam

Social media solicitations offering jobs at a nonexistent Cayman Islands hotel have “tricked” hundreds of Jamaicans and at least one Cayman Islands resident out of their money, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service detectives reported Thursday.

“It is unknown how many have fallen victim to this scam.”

Officers with the Financial Crime Unit are investigating people who have placed job ads on social media sites, offering employment at a hotel property that does not exist. After completing an “interview phase” for the job, those applicants are asked to send $400 to the Cayman Islands to pay for a work permit.

Police said the scammers then contact people in Cayman with local bank accounts via social media sites such as Facebook and Tango, asking them to use their accounts to hold the “work permit” fees collected by the fraudsters.

“The RCIPS is aware of at least one instance in which a resident has been manipulated to receive these funds and then return the money to individuals in Jamaica via remittance,” an RCIPS statement noted.

Suspect identified

Police identified one suspected scammer as Odiki Mandalay, who also goes by the name Carlos Chung. Mr. Mandalay has stated that he owns “Hotel Grand Cayman” – a nonexistent property.

Hundreds of Jamaicans have applied for the bogus jobs, and the RCIPS said it is in contact with Jamaican authorities trying to catch the scammers.

“It is unknown how many have fallen victim to this scam,” police said.

Cayman Islands work permits can only be obtained by local employers. It is in contravention of the Immigration Law to force an employee to pay for their own work permit.

Anyone who has been solicited in this scam or who may have information about the perpetrators is asked to call the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit at 649-8797. Anonymous tips can be made through Cayman Crime Stoppers at 800-8477 (TIPS).