JTA president says teachers have fallen victim to debit card cloning
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), Leighton Johnson, has expressed concern following reports from several of its members who have fallen prey to debit card cloning orchestrated by fraudulent individuals.
“It has come to our attention that a number of teachers have reported instances where their debit cards were cloned, facilitating unauthorised transactions from various locations across Jamaica and the world, resulting in significant financial losses,” Johnson said.
With seven educators so far reporting their experiences, Johnson asserted that these illicit actions not only present monetary obstacles for the teachers, but also calls into question the timeliness and efficacy of financial institutions in addressing such matters.
Johnson said teachers are of the view that they are being robbed from every angle.
“Our educators are already burdened with the stress of battling with the Government to be paid what we agreed to. Now teachers have to be battling with fraudsters and the banks to keep their hard-earned salaries. These situations lead to financial losses resulting from criminal activities beyond the teachers’ control,” said Johnson.
He argued that “Teachers who play an invaluable role in shaping the future of our nation deserve the utmost respect and support. The financial strain caused by these incidents not only impacts the individual teacher but also has wider implications for the educational community as a whole”.
The JTA president said the reported reluctance of certain banks to promptly investigate and rectify these fraudulent activities has left teachers in distress. He told Observer Online that among the list of financial institutions that the teachers are having issues with are three major banks.
While the banks have reportedly stated that they are investigating the various incidents, Johnson has warned that they will be named if the issues are not resolved.
Said Johnson:“We call upon the relevant financial institutions to prioritise the well-being of our teachers and to conduct thorough investigations into these incidents. Timing and transparent communication are crucial in restoring trust that has been eroded by these unfortunate events. Banks have the responsibility to implement systems to make their cards less likely to be cloned. Additionally, we urge the banks to expedite the process of refunding the stolen funds to the affected teachers, recognising the urgency of their financial situation”.
The president of the 25,000-strong association said the union remains committed to advocating for the welfare and rights of teachers, ensuring that they can perform their vital roles without undue financial stress and insecurity.
“We encourage our affected teachers to report any incidents promptly and to work closely with their respective banks to address these issues. Together, as a united educational community, we can overcome these challenges and create an environment where our teachers can focus on their noble task of educating the next generations, knowing that their salaries and hard-earned funds will be protected in the banks that they have them stored,” he said.