Stamping out cybercrime
Sat, September 01, 2012 - 10:35 AM
KINGSTON – The police are reporting an increase in cybercrimes and are urging Jamaicans to safeguard themselves against becoming victims.
“We have to be responsible as citizens and be careful what we put on digital media,” said Inspector Warren Williams, who heads the constabulary force’s Cybercrimes Investigation And Research Unit, said on Friday.
There have been more than 1 000 reported cases of cybercrimes so far this year, Williams told a Press briefing at the downtown Kingston headquarters of the Organized Crime Investigation Division.
Cyber defamation, unauthorized access, impersonation and obscene publication were listed by the officers as among the cybercrimes under investigation by his office.
A case of impersonation occurred last Wednesday when the email of former minister of agriculture Christopher Tufton was hacked into. The perpetrator, pretending to be Tufton, sent mails from the breached email asking the former minister’s contacts to send money to a particular account as he was “robbed” during a “family vacation” in Madrid, Spain, and needed cash.
Williams said the unit was making progress in the fight against cyberoffenders, despite its 30 per cent arrest rate which he said was due to the length of time it took to investigate offences.
“. . . As we prepare our staff, we are getting there and we think that we are making serious inroads in dealing with the new trend in terms of cybercrimes,” Williams told reporters.
The unit is counting among its success the arrest last Monday of 27-year-old Kingston resident Ronald Oates, who police alleged was the mastermind behind a rash of cybercrime extortion in which nude photos and videos of mainly women were posted on a now shuttered local website earlier this year. Hundreds of persons are believed by the police to have been affected by the crime, although only 25 victims have come forward.
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