Wed | Apr 24, 2019

Interpol to assist Ja with one-ring scam

Published:Tuesday | July 4, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott

As public interest heightens over the one-ring scam that some cell-phone users were exposed to on the weekend, Jamaican authorities have sought the assistance of international partners to investigate the matter.

Head of the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Clifford Chambers, said the local authorities have joined forces with Interpol, an intergovernmental organisation facilitating international police cooperation, and Europol, a European law-enforcement agency that manages serious crimes.

"The information that we require is coming through one legal entity, which is Interpol, and Europol, in some instance, too. It is going well, and we have the National Intelligence Bureau, which is in direct communication with them, and if there is any change in trends, we will know before it (the threat) even hits us," Chambers said.


Jamaica not only target


He noted that Jamaica was not the only country affected by the scam, and this enabled local investigators to work with its international partners to track the trend and identify the perpetrators behind it.

He said OCID has also been working closely with the technology ministry, as well as local telecommunications companies Digicel and FLOW, to mitigate the effects of the scam on local mobile users.

On the weekend, some Digicel and FLOW customers complained about receiving missed calls from what appeared to be Polish telephone numbers beginning with +48, which tempted them to return the call. However, if the call is returned, the unsuspecting mobile users are levied with hefty charges and could also deplete their credit.

Jamaican telecommunications companies and the Government remain on high alert in the aftermath of the phone scam.

Both Digicel and FLOW have since advised mobile users not to respond to prompts from strange numbers and to end calls immediately in the event that they redial the overseas numbers.

In the meantime, up to press time yesterday, the authorities could not say how many customers received the suspected calls and how much funds, if any, have been lost as a result of the scam. However, Chambers is urging those affected to make a formal complaint for proper documentation and to facilitate the ongoing investigation.

The one-ring scam, which is often referred to as Wangiri, originated in Japan.