Saturday, September 23, 2023
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FIU keeps close tabs on ‘Ebay Shop’ issue

The Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit is reiterating its warning to members of the public to exercise extreme caution and not be fooled into engaging in any forms of scams and schemes that offer quick profits.

In a statement, Director FIU Razim Buksh said despite warnings, Fijians continue to fall victims of online scams primarily due to ‘get rich quick’ mentality.

Buksh said while only two cases were recently brought to the attention of the FIU involving ‘Ebay Shop Online Recruiting’ scam, reports on social media indicate several thousand vulnerable Fijians have lost their money to the illegal pyramid scheme through local agents.

He said the scam involved an illegal pyramid selling scheme that promised locals to invest and get their money back within a short time and thereafter receive large returns and profits.

He said the scam was marketed and offered on the social media network and people were fooled to give their money to the so-called agents of Ebay Shop that were operating an unlicensed and unregistered financial investment business in Fiji.

“The FIU had warned members of the public that pyramid selling schemes and investments into cryptocurrency and foreign digital wallets are illegal in Fiji. We also advised them of several red flags and indicators that can help them identify such scams.”

“Anyone operating or promoting pyramid selling scheme is committing an offence under Section 87A of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Act 2010.”

In the first case, a female sales representative at a shop in Suva was brought to our attention who claimed to be an agent for the ‘Ebay Shop Online Recruiting’ scheme.

Our investigation showed that between July to August 2023, she made nine large cash deposits to her personal bank account totalling $33,600 and received 21 bank transfers totalling $51,500. The bank transactions were made in reference to the desired “Ebay level and fee.

The FIU noted that she conducted multiple cash and remittance transactions before making large cash withdrawals totalling $52,260 supposedly for her personal use to construct her house.

In the second case, another female, a self-employed lecturer, received funds from various parties from January to August 2023 through multiple wallets.

These wallets facilitated transactions of more than $300,000 during this period. One of these wallets was used to purchase cryptocurrency from at least three online exchanges through the use of an international debit card.

“The FIU has implemented anti-money laundering regulatory controls and preventative measures so that suspected scam transactions are detected and reported to the FIU by commercial banks, money remittance service providers and other financial institutions in Fiji,” Buksh added.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist |


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