ISLANDERS were conned out of more than £600,000 through scams and frauds last winter – a record loss for a four-month period.
The States police said they had received 36 reports of scams between November 2022 and February 2023, as criminals increasingly offer ‘support’ to help with the Island’s rising cost of living as bait.
The biggest losses were seen in investments, including cryptocurrency and banking frauds, according to the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum.
New types of fraud included fake event tickets and ‘pet purchase’ scams, the JFPF said.
The total lost last winter amounted to £606,250.
Forum chair Chief Inspector Chris Beechey encouraged Islanders to be cautious and continue reporting suspected cases to the States police on 612 612, or to forum members. He said this would help understand new scams or frauds and prevent others falling victim.
Chief Insp Beechey said: ‘Whilst criminals use more sophisticated ways in targeting Islanders, it has been reassuring to see the suspicious cases being reported. Feedback from our forum members suggests that the public are feeling more confident about identifying potential scams and reporting them to the relevant authorities. We hope that our newsletter will better equip Islanders to detect and report these crimes.’
A detailed breakdown of the losses is due to be delivered to all Island households next week, in the JFPF’s latest newsletter, which is issued twice a year to raise awareness of emerging scams and fraudulent activity.
Islanders can find more information about how to gain protection from scams and frauds here.
The JFPF was set up in 2016 and features a number of local organisations, including the States police, Jersey Financial Services Commission, Jersey Consumer Council and Crimestoppers.