Financial Intelligence Unit warns of `romance scams’ | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Guyana today said that it wished to bring to the attention of the public, the existence of persons in the country who are actively involved with international partners in the commission of what is referred to as “Package Delivery Scams or Romance Scams”.

In a statement, the FIU said that the Package Delivery or Romance Scammers have emerged more prominently during the Covid-19 pandemic. This scam  targets persons via several Social Media Platforms including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The methodology used by the scammers is to befriend unsuspecting persons via the aforementioned digital platforms.

“After some time used to build trust with their `new friend’  or `love interest’, the scammer promises the intended victim, some form of assistance. This in most instances is supposedly a `package’ containing valuable gift items such as designer clothing, jewellery, televisions, cell phones and other electronic devices. The victim is usually contacted by a local associate of the scammer, confirming the arrival of the package and requesting their personal contact and other information.  The intended victim is subsequently contacted again and requested to deposit money to a specified local Bank Account or send via a money transfer agency (MTA). They advise that the payment is required to cover brokerage fees, customs duties, penalties and/or shipping charges for the package(s), which was found on inspection to contain high valued items.

“Once the payment is made, the scammers discontinue all contact with the victim. In some instances, requests are made for additional payments, for various reasons which may sound plausible to unsuspecting individuals”, the FIU said.

It added “If you or someone you know is approached via Email, Facebook, WhatsApp, SMS, etc., and promised gifts or Covid-19 related financial or other assistance, Beware! This may be a SCAM. DO NOT share any personal information, transfer or deposit money into the bank account of persons you meet online and do not know very well.  

“If you believe that you are a victim of the ‘Romance or Package Delivery Scam’, report it IMMEDIATELY to the nearest Police Station”.

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