Police warn of financial scam targeting job-seekers

The Financial Crime Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service issued a public advisory Monday regarding employment scams targeting people seeking work in the nursing and hospitality industries.

Police warned the public about a similar scam last year.

Job-seekers have been responding to advertisements on social media for positions in nursing or hospitality, and the notices promise assistance with plane fare and permit fees. But the hotels named in those advertisements either do not exist or have no knowledge of the services advertised.

Job-seekers have been asked to send funds to people in the Cayman Islands under the guise of obtaining a work permit. The fraudulent scheme is believed to be based in Jamaica, with people here in Cayman receiving the funds and then sending them on to individuals in Jamaica.

The perpetrators of the fraud use social network sites like Facebook, Tagged, Tango and Badoo to engage job-seekers under false pretenses. Once they have made contact, they ask for bank account numbers to facilitate the transaction or they send the job-seeker to Western Union.

The police have notified the public that the individual running the scam has used the names Odiki Mandalay and Carlos Chung as the purported owner of Hotel Grand Cayman, which does not exist.

The scammer may also be using other names, so the Financial Crime Unit wants people on social networks not to engage in conversations or do “favors” for people they don’t already know.

Police urge any members of the public who has been approached by the scammer or have unknowingly participated in the movement of funds as part of this fraud to contact the Financial Crime Unit at 949-8797 or Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS).

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