Scamming has moved uptown
Fraud at financial instititutions appears to be increasing.

Dear Editor,

The scamming culture as we know it has grown exponentially and can no longer be associated with the ordinary man.

The recent surge in the misappropriation of the public's funds has veered our attention to a different arena. We can no longer restrict our understanding to thinking defrauding money is an operation that is home-run and restricted to barely intelligent men and women who prey upon gullible American citizens. The get-rich-quick mentality is rapidly spreading in our own backyards.

The surge in news headlines of white-collar scamming from one banking institution to the next is not only creating local panic but also international difficulties for honest Jamaicans hoping to do business. It, therefore, begs the question: What is really motivating these financial staffers to have the temerity to splurge the public's money?

Additionally, the issue of gender cannot go unnoticed. Women have been trending in the headlines for theft of money since the latter part of 2022. Many may argue that it's the demand to support and maintain their lavish lifestyles that has "forced" their hands to take these monies, to their detriment.

On the other hand, much commentary has zoned in on policies and systems that are implemented in these financial institutions to detect the very attempt at fraud.

Who can consumers of these services trust? If our monies are not safe at home or safe at the very institutions developed to provide a seemingly better option of saving and investing our hard-earned cash/capital, we have failed miserably as a society. Yet still we blame the younger generation when the very morales that we display are appalling.

We have duplicitous people occupying the highest positions in different facets of society, yet these are the same people who turn up their noses and publicly condemn the common man whilst they slip unauthorised and unearned millions into their pockets. In the words of Ms Lou, "What a bangarang!"

While we take a back seat and point fingers, we must be ready to offer solutions. We cannot move towards growth and proper sustainable development without serious proactive and reformative actions, strategies, and policies that are urgently needed to ameliorate this growing trend before we spiral into an anarchist society.

A good starting point would be to have proper and more frequent external audits conducted at financial institutions.

The common customer wanting to open a regular savings or investment account is one piece of data shy of being asked for a sample of his or her blood and a lock of a great-grandparent's hair to prove credibility and identity. The same should be required from these people to whom we entrust our money.

Philishea Garnett

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