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‘Be vigilant when doing business’

Manchester police warn that scammers now finding smarter ways to operate

Published:Monday | July 12, 2021 | 12:07 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Superintendent Gary Francis
Superintendent Gary Francis


As the issue of scamming continues to add to the high levels of criminality in the country, commanding officer of the Manchester Police Superintendent Gary Francis is appealing to the public to be vigilant when doing business as scammers are finding new ways of running through the pockets of individuals.

“This scamming thing is wide and a number of young people are involved. I remember some time ago speaking to a youngster from Clarendon who was in Manchester because his elder brother was living here, in scamming, and wanted to teach him the trade. He couldn’t put two sentences together, but the scammers have the rehearsed lines that they use,” Francis said, while speaking at the Manchester Municipal Corporation meeting on Thursday.

Francis added that at no point in time should individuals be sending their personal information, including banking information to anyone over the phone, particularly to a stranger.

Councillor of the Craig head Division Omar Miller revealed that he thought scamming only involved locals seeking funding from foreigners, but was surprised to learn otherwise when he almost became a victim of the crime.

“If a man can call my phone and tell me that I win this and that I would be a fool, but they were so convincing and because they have all the information on hand, one would think they are legitimate.

WHITE COLLAR criminals

Francis added that scamming is often performed by white collar criminals who cannot be easily traced.

“The North American culture has a lot of gaming and winning and scammers prey on those people because the probability of winning something after a purchase is great. The challenge with scamming is that there is a man who is home, he has a network, is locked away and when he comes out, he is in his jacket and tie. There is no particular profile, and that is the challenge.”

Francis mentioned that scammers are no longer confined to online spaces and can be found in bank lines and other areas where monetary transactions are performed, making it now more important for persons to pay attention to their surroundings.

Meanwhile, he said larceny and robberies continue to be a problem in the parish, with seven more cases of larceny and 16 more cases of robbery than the corresponding period last year.

“I am appealing to homeowners to secure their property more, because the criminal will always prey on vulnerability and will break in. If homeowners take precaution, then we could have one less crime. If you can, invest in a close-circuit television to assist with some of the anti-breaking strategies,” Francis advised.