The total number of complaints received regarding the EbayShop recruitment scam by the Consumer Council of Fiji, Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission and Fiji Police is now approximately 1700 valued at around $3.6 million.
The Scam Taskforce is holding its meeting with relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Trade Co-operatives Micro Small Medium Enterprises and Communications, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fiji Police Force, Consumer Council of Fiji and FCCC.
The Taskforce has also co-opted Vodafone (Fiji) Limited and Digicel (Fiji) Limited.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Co-operatives Micro Small Medium Enterprises and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica told the taskforce that there is a need to meet regularly, coordinate with all stakeholders and disseminate accurate and timely information to find solutions to avoid repeat of such scams.
Kamikamica says they are thankful that people are now made aware of the scam and have come forward to lodge their complaints with the relevant authorities.
He says as a taskforce, they need to explore in strengthening our legislations, in an effort to avoid future scams and also charge the perpetrators.
Consumer Council CEO Seema Shandil highlighted that as a consumer protection agency she expects the number of complaints to increase.
She hopes more people come forward to lodge complaints.
They have collated the list of complaints received and forwarded it to the Police.
Shandil says as a consumer protection agency, they continue to advise the people of Fiji to stop participating in such schemes.
Investigations into the EbayShop Online recruitment scam have also commenced by the Police who also have established special teams in the Central, Western and Northern divisions.
The FCCC is also collaborating closely with the Police to provide prompt information regarding complaints and is facilitating timely referral of the complaints received to the Fiji Police Force.
Vinitesh Kumar, General Manager of FCCC, has indicated that they are actively progressing towards the establishment of a "ScamWatch" section.
This initiative aims to benefit everyone in a collective effort and assist the Fijian community in recognising and reporting fraudulent activities such as scams in future.
RBF Governor, Ariff Ali mentioned that the central bank wants to better understand how the scheme works by better understanding and exchanging information with stakeholders like the FRCS, Vodafone and Digicel.
RBF in partnership with FIU, FRCS and the telecos has commenced investigations into Ebay Shop and other fraudulent online activity by analysing its data to determine if money has gone out of the country and if breaches of the Exchange Control Act was committed.
Ali says once RBF establishes the facts surrounding where the money is being circulated to whether it’s offshore or in different wallets, they would be in a better position to advise the way.
Vodafone Fiji and Digicel Fiji have reaffirmed their support and desire to working with Taskforce.
The Scam Taskforce will continue to meet on a regular basis to monitor and address the online scams and also work towards legislative review.
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