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December 21, 2013
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Cops warn biz operators of foreign-exchange scammers

The police are warning business operators to be wary of foreign-exchange scammers operating in several business districts across the country.

Reports from the police are that the scammers enter various business establishments with foreign currency to be exchanged. It is reported that they hand over the foreign currency without agreeing to an exchange rate, and after receiving the Jamaican currency for which the foreign currency is exchanged, propose a higher rate after declining to accept the issued rate. The scammers then return the Jamaican currency and demand that the foreign currency be returned to them, at which point, they hand over less cash than that which was originally handed over.

The scammers also tender legitimate foreign currency for exchange and ask the business clerks to check if the money is counterfeit. After it has been verified as real, the scammers then request the return of the money after disagreeing to the rate. They then make a call to a third party, who supposedly agrees to the proposed rate. At this point, the scammers insert counterfeit notes with the original notes that were already checked by the clerks.

Business operators and employees are, therefore, urged to:

1. Make all the necessary checks when collecting or handing over cash when conducting business transactions.

2. check cash again after checking it off.

3. Verify the currency handed over for exchange as scammers will substitute good notes with counterfeit notes.

4. Be aware of your surroundings and if you observe suspicious activities or persons, report it as soon as possible to the police

The police are urging business operators and employees to report all instances where they are approached by persons demonstrating the above modus operandi to report them to the police immediately by contacting the 119 emergency number, 811/311, or the nearest police station.

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