Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Taskforce to tackle fraudulent dealings

To safeguard Fijians’ financial wellbeing and security against the increasing prevalence of fraudulent schemes in the country, the Ministry of Trade has established a Multi-Interagency Taskforce.

The Taskforce is chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and Communications, which comprises the following agencies: Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC); Consumer Council of Fiji (Council); Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) and Fiji Police Force (FPF).

Minister Responsible, Manoa Kamikamica said they are particularly alarmed by the ongoing scams perpetrated by the notorious EbayShop Online Recruitment scheme.

“EbayShop Online Recruitment is a scam. Such fraudulent activities must stop now. We cannot allow the people of Fiji to continue to fall into the trap of these unscrupulous people and face financial turmoil. It is imperative that we learn from this unfortunate incident and work collectively to ensure that similar scams do not take place.”

He said the Reserve Bank of Fiji had issued warning to the public against such scams the on 1 September 2023 and investigations on EbayShop Online Recruitment scheme have been underway by the Taskforce and the alleged masterminds that have been manipulating the public will be taken to task.

“The relevant enforcement agencies, such as the FCCC, and the Fiji Police Force have been pursuing this matter, based on the complaints that have been received.”

“All complaints being received by the FCCC and Consumer Council are being referred to the Police, to assist them in their investigation.”

FCCC CEO Mr Joel Abraham mentioned that investigations into EbayShop had started a few months ago.

“FCCC had commenced investigations into EbayShop had started months earlier and we are able to verify that EbayShop has no affiliation with the International Ebay organisation and neither was Ebay licensed by the Reserve Bank of Fiji,” said Abraham.

“FCCC has actively gathered evidence from the outset, conducted interviews, and scrutinised the alleged activities associated with the scheme.”

“The first complaint was received on 11th September, and so far, 5 complaints and 6 enquiries have been received in total, collectively reporting losses totaling $33,640.00.”

“Now that we have received our first complaints on this scheme, we anticipate the emergence of further evidence and information that can aid in the ongoing investigation.”

“We will work with the Fiji Police Force to investigate and ensure that those responsible will be held accountable,” added Abraham.

Furthermore, the taskforce is also aware of other scam that is happening through M-PAiSA fraudulent activities that is, misleading the public.

In these fraudulent cases, individuals have received text messages notifying them of unauthorised withdrawals from their M-PAiSA accounts at supermarket outlets, all without the need for identification or the entry of the one-time password codes.

“We are pleading to the people of Fiji to remain vigilant against these deceptive tactics, which can result in financial losses and personal distress. Please take heed of the advice from the relevant agencies. We are here to protect your interest, but we need your cooperation to make this happen”, said DPM Kamikamica.

Consumer Council chief executive Seema Shandil requested the members of the public to come forward to lodge an official complaint against EbayShop or any fraudulent activities to them.

“As the principal consumer advocacy organisation, we had issued multiple warnings against this scam to the public over the last few months.”

“We are happy that an interagency taskforce has been established and swift investigations have already commenced. We want to protect our consumers from further losses and deception.”

“In order to systematically map out the structure of the EbayShop Online Recruitment scheme and identify the key orchestrators, we need consumers to step up and come forward with any details which they may have – it’s time to work together in consumer solidarity,” said Shandil.

If you or someone you know has fallen victim to the EbayShop Online Recruitment pyramid scheme or any other fraudulent activities or have any related information that will assist the enforcement agencies, please contact Consumer Council of Fiji on 155 or Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission on 8921991.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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