Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Scamming not just a Jamaica problem - Golding

Published:Thursday | May 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Former PM Bruce Golding addresses the town hall meeting.

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding has underscored that scamming is not a problem unique to Jamaica, but a global one.

Addressing the GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS)/Western Union 2018 town hall series at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens, New York, recently, Golding pointed out that globally, scamming involved the loss of revenue of up to US$10 billion per year. He noted that of that amount, estimates for Jamaica ranged from US$300 million to US$1 billion annually.

According to Golding, Jamaican law enforcement agencies were challenged to fight this battle alone as they needed to engage other countries where scamming was prevalent.

"Scamming is emanating from countries in Latin America, parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia, and some of it is coming from right here in the USA," said Golding.

"We need a public awareness programme in target countries to sensitise would-be victims to become more cautious, more discriminating, more contemplative, more aware, and more suspicious when they get a call.

"And we can't expect America to do that for us because we are the ones doing the scammin,g and it's their people who are being scammed," added Golding.

The former prime minister warned that scamming had become interwoven with other criminal activities. He said that past and present governments of Jamaica had implemented new laws and even established a special unit in the police force to track down scammers but noted that this criminal activity was still challenging to eliminate.

Golding lauded strategies that Western Union and GKMS have implemented to combat and reduce lottery scamming and their efforts to keep consumers informed.

"It is good that they (GKMS & Western Union) conduct town hall meetings like these as it gives the companies an opportunity to share with communities some of the challenges that they face in serving the clients," he noted.