Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, commanding officer of the Organised Crime Investigation (OCID) Division, says there has been a 60 per cent drop in credit and debit card fraud since the launch of Operation Safe Card last year.
"We have actually saved the banks from losing over J$300 million last year," said Bailey at a forum last Wednesday.
He referenced one "major institution" which he says was losing over J$50 million per quarter before the introduction of the Safe Card Unit.
This trend was corroborated by Lloyd Parchment, chairman of the anti-fraud committee of the Jamaica Bankers' Association (JBA).
"Compared to 2010 before the introduction of the Operation Safe Card Unit we are now seeing a significant reduction in card fraud both in incidence and the overall dollar value," Parchment said.
He estimates that losses to financial institutions have been reduced by about 50 to 75 per cent.
However, he does not attribute all this success to the unit as he said the "major institution" referenced by Bailey got reprieve when it strengthened its systems by introducing new technologies and new processes inhouse and at ABMs nationwide.
Parchment said the Safe Card Unit is responsible for the prosecution of 25 of 40 cases that are now before the court for card fraud. The other 15 cases he attributed to work done by the Fraud Squad.
"Every single case that has been pointed to the police has shown that there was card compromised. There have been arrests at these locations. In terms of prosecution, that is a bit slow but that is due to the current court system," Parchment said.
Operation Safe Card is a joint effort of the JBA and the Fraud Squad to counter electronic scams. Cases are prosecuted under the Cybercrime Act of 2010.