We need to stop condoning scamming
Eight alleged scammers were extradited to the United States this week, where they will appear before a judge after being accused of extorting millions of dollars - US dollars - from vulnerable pensioners in that country.
Assuming they will all be found guilty and put away for a long time, that would be eight down and probably 8,000 more to go before we can finally lick this problem, that has been the scourge of both countries for the past few years.
Of equal concern is the large number of Jamaicans who sympathise with these people who would destroy the lives of so many and ruin the reputation of this country that already has so much to contend with.
Beneath the story that I read online about the extradition of the suspected scammers, who, according to the reports, included a policeman, some women, and several members of one family, some people made comments suggesting that these scammers were doing nothing wrong and that if government would provide jobs for people, then some of these people would not have to resort to criminality.
Others were joking about the situation, describing the victims as being stupid sending money to people for winnings they knew nothing about, oblivious to the irreparable harm scammers have done to these pensioners.
If memory serves me, some victims lost their homes and life savings paying off these scammers; and if memory serves me again, there is at least one instance where a victim has committed suicide after losing everything.
I fear that with the mindset of the people who support these criminals that have helped turn the relatively quiet parishes of St James, Hanover and Westmoreland into war zones, getting rid of scamming is going to be a long and bloody battle that will leave this nation scarred.
For the situation to be remedied, strong, decisive action has to be taken. The policemen and politicians involved need to be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and there needs to be an all-encompassing education campaign about the negative effects of scamming.
People need to understand what the real consequences are. They need to know the stories of the people whose lives have been destroyed in the US.
They need to know how the scamming has destroyed communities here in Jamaica, what with all the associated murders and shooting incidents.
Also, people need to really start asking themselves, what if the victims of these scammers were your relatives. How would you feel about it then?
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