Six persons are scheduled to face the courts today to answer fraud charges. The persons were arrested last week following investigations by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) into the theft of money from several bank accounts.
MOCA detectives on January 15 raided the homes of several individuals and seized cellular phones, laptops, and other electronic devices. An analysis of the devices revealed the names and banking information of scores of people with accounts at various financial institutions.
Investigators alleged that the group hacked bank accounts and stole millions of dollars.
Woman sergeant Antoinette Morrison, spokesperson for MOCA, said that there is no figure at the moment as it relates to the amount of money that has been swiped from bank accounts.
“It is a working investigation. Persons who feel they have been fleeced or feel their account has been tampered with should go to the banks or come in to our office and make a report,” she said.
Nigel Holness, president of the Jamaica Bankers Association, told THE WEEKEND STAR that the problem of fraudsters taking money from the bank accounts of unsuspecting persons is a global one.
“Billions of dollars are fleeced from customers accounts because of hackers, people who are doing what they call phishing, all of these different things. They get access to your accounts and they try to move monies out. It’s not a local issue, it’s a global phenomena,” he said.
When asked the extent to which Jamaican institutions are affected, he said: “I would have to probably engage with the wider compliance and corporate security team to gauge what we think is a percentage. But it is relevant, it is happening and that is why when you look at banks we assign a portion of our funds to beef up and improve security for the platforms and firewalls that we use.”