Three agencies collectively have received around 1700 complaints in relation to the EbayShop Online Recruitment scam, which is now valued at $3.6 million.
The Scam Taskforce met with relevant stakeholders, including the Ministry of Trade, the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the Fiji Police Force, the Consumer Council of Fiji, and the Fijian Competition Consumer Commission, yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica highlighted the need to meet regularly, coordinate with all stakeholders, and disseminate accurate and timely information to find solutions to avoid repeating such scams.
Consumer Council Chief Executive Seema Shandil says they expect the number of complaints and their value to increase and hope that more people will come forward to lodge complaints.
The FCCC is collaborating closely with the police to provide prompt information regarding complaints and is facilitating the timely referral of the complaints received to the Fiji Police Force.
FCCC General Manager, Vinitesh Kumar, says they are actively progressing towards the establishment of a “ScamWatch” section.
He says this initiative aims to benefit everyone in a collective effort and assist the Fijian community in recognizing and reporting fraudulent activities such as scams in the future.
RBF Governor Ariff Ali says the central bank wants to better understand how the scheme works by better understanding and exchanging information with stakeholders like the FRCS, Vodafone and Digicel.
He says RBF in partnership with FIU, FRCS, and the telecos, has commenced investigations into Ebay Shop and other fraudulent online activity by analyzing its data to determine if money has gone out of the country and if breaches of the Exchange Control Act were committed.
He says once RBF establishes the facts surrounding where the money is being circulated, whether it’s offshore or in different wallets, they will be in a better position to advise on the way forward.
Vodafone Fiji and Digicel Fiji reaffirmed their support and desire to work with Taskforce.
The Scam Taskforce will continue to meet on a regular basis to monitor and address online scams and also work towards legislative review.