FBI probing email scam – Miller
November 9, 2012

FBI probing email scam – Miller

Commissioner of Police Keith Miller has confirmed that he was the victim of an Internet scam and that the matter is under investigation.{{more}}

“We have reported to the relevant authority and I spoke with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) in Washington who told me yes, it is and they are investigating it,” he told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday.

“I was suspicious, that is why I mounted an investigation… I informed the US Embassy, who immediately dispatched communication to the FBI, … within an hour, they called me back and told me they did investigations and what it is. It is because of our suspicion … we halted the communication and informed the relevant people,” Miller said.

According to documents seen by SEARCHLIGHT, during October, the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) sent EC$9,439.12 by Western Union Money Transfer to persons in the West African nation of Senegal.

The police officers thought they were sending the money to pay for accommodation, insurance and visas for the Commissioner, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ruth Jacobs and Sergeant Junior Simmons, who were to attend a conference on Human Trafficking in Senegal.

After a fourth request for money, the Commissioner got suspicious and sought the help of the United States Embassy in Barbados, who confirmed that he had been scammed.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, Miller said initially, all the communication came through the right protocols.

“These people are clever; you have to be careful, because you may receive communications as if you are communicating with your counterpart …. Because these people got involved with documents from key places, embassies and so on,” he said.

He said some of the documents sent to him were “official documents from big name places. …Not ordinary places, from places where we accustomed dealing with ….”

He said the scammers had letterheads and signatures of genuine organizations and officials.

“So it was not new; it is one of those procedural things, it wasn’t anything looking fishy,” he said.

The Commissioner, however, said after a particular communication which seemed strange, he called the United States Embassy in Barbados to double check.

He admitted he was “tricked to a certain extent,” but added, “you have to be smart to pick up the little twists.”

“No, I did not pick up the first and second time, but maybe on the second or third occasion,” he said.