Fijians lose thousands due to cyber-loan scam

October 4, 2022 6:37 am

[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji / Facebook]

The Financial Intelligence Unit has encountered a lot of cybercrime cases over the years, which range from hacking, email scams, cyber crime, email spoofing, Facebook scams, and other online scams.

This has been highlighted by the FIU during their submissions to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on the Convention on Cybercrime.

From December 2019 to April 2020, 73 Fijians from one community lost around $98, 658 due to a cyber-loan scam.

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FIU Manager Intelligence Esther Sue says the cyber loan scam targets, actual individuals.

Sue says the exchange control restriction for remitting funds out, leads to the splitting of the funds.

“We found that there were 73 Fijians in a particular community that conducted 163 remittances to 41 individuals in Benin. So they sent around $98,658. So what happened was that there was an individual that was purporting to provide loans to them. They are aware of the exchange control restrictions, so they know what amounts to ask for and they are very aware of the different restrictions we have in place and how to potentially bypass them and so on.”

FIU Director Razim Buksh says they have implemented a number of preventative measures.
Buksh says there is a blacklist of foreign individuals who the foreign exchange dealers and commercial banks cannot deal with because they are on the cyber blacklist issued by the FIU.

The FIU has supported the convention on cybercrime as it addresses the key gaps seen in the daily operation areas in relation to cybercrime offenses under the current Fijian government legal framework.