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VIPD Warns Public To Beware Of Internet and Telephone Text Msg Scammers


CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) says it has received several reports of  Internet and telephone scams occurring within the territory. The Internet Scam is described as follows:

The scammer, acting as an agent for a company, posts a job vacancy or an investment opportunity on the internet or other sources. The only way to contact the scammer is by an email or text message. When the victim contacts them, they respond informing the victim that they have got the job; or provide documentation for the investment with no verbal communication. The scammer then sends the victim a check and tells them to deposit it into their account.

Once the check clears at the bank, the victim is required to send a portion of the money to the sender using a wiring company or a bank wire. By the time the bank’s check clearing process is completed, the money is already moved out of the account. At this time, the bank and the depositor are both stuck with the counterfeit check.


Spot Imposters: Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.

Please contact the VIPD Economic Crime Unit to report suspicious activity or if you are a victim of a scam at (340) 774-3942 for the St. Thomas District or (340) 778-1001 for the St. Croix District.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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