Digicel warns of spike in online scamming

Digicel's director of Marketing and Digital products, Trijata Maraj. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE -
Digicel's director of Marketing and Digital products, Trijata Maraj. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE -

WITH TT now in the full swing of Carnival, more scammers are on the prowl looking for their next online victim.

Trijata Maraj, Digicel’s director of marketing and digital products, said around this time, there is a spike in scams and there are three main types to look out for: the price scam, the Wangiri or one ring phone scam, and the support scams.

“The price scam is where you get an SMS and somebody's telling you, ‘hey, you just won a prize, you need to top up this amount and send it to this number in order to claim your prize, and you need to do it now or within a short space of time.’

"The Wangiri scam is where you will have a foreign number calling you, you might return the call and then you will pay a high amount of fees to the number that you call back because it's a fraudulent number that has been set up."

Maraj said this year, there has been a bit of a shift so far. "We’ve seen more support scams. We actually have people creating fake Instagram profiles pretending to be an authentic Digicel page. It uses the same name, but they added an additional character to the end of it.

"There was also another one that was created for Carnival where they put two L's instead of one in Digicel Trinbago. At a glance, it looks like the same company, it looks like a genuine page and what these pages have been doing is messaging customers on Instagram and telling them that they won a prize to click to claim the prize. This is a new method of trying to defraud customers that we've seen this year.”

Maraj added that the links sent by these support scam accounts can also automatically install malware onto devices. This malware can fully access all information on the device, including credit card numbers if it’s saved to the device.

She said Digicel also anticipates that these scams will be seen throughout the year and not just during the Christmas to Carnival period. She urged customers to pay close attention to who is messaging you and what links are being sent regarding claiming prizes.

“Pay attention to the names on the social media sites for the support pages and the pages that pretend to be who they're not; to the name itself and how they've modified it and to the tags that they are using.

"We will never send you to an external site, all of our sites will be Digicel websites and Digicel Group websites, and we will never send you to an external site to claim prizes. You also need to know that we will never ask you to pay to get a prize or ask you to claim your prize within a short space of time.”

She said Digicel has seen a lot of these scammers telling customers to claim their prizes between 15 to 30 minutes which is not the company’s policy.

“If you've already been selected then you’re already a winner. We give you your prize at no cost to you and you get it without you having to do a further action. You don't have a time limit. When you win, you win, we give you the prize, the prize is yours, and we make arrangements with you to pick it up.”


"Digicel warns of spike in online scamming"

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