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Photo Caption: Leesa Kow (left), managing director, JN Bank makes a point during a JN Members’ Meeting in Mandeville, Manchester earlier this month. The event was held at the hall of the parish church, St Mark’s Anglican Church in the capital. The meeting was one of an ongoing series by the bank to provide its members and the public with practical information on ways to protect themselves from fraud, especially card skimming. Other meetings have been held in St Thomas and St Ann to date.

Active Participation in Fraud Prevention

Leesa Kow, managing director, JN Bank, says keen partnerships between citizens, the state and institutions are necessary to effectively combat fraud and cybercrime.

The managing director was addressing JN members in St Thomas, Manchester, and St Ann during a series of face-to-face meetings in February and March to provide practical information on how to bank safely and protect oneself from criminals.

“How do we want you to partner with us?” she asked members. “We want you to be aware of what’s happening. Stay on top of things happening in your parish. Digest the information that JN provides in forums like these, and from the police, so that you know what’s happening,” she told members.

She urged members to ensure that their banks, including JN Bank, have up-to-date information about them, such as their address and cell phone number, so that they can be contacted by the institution and provided with information and alerts that will keep them aware of changes and activities on their account. She pointed out that when banks have current information on customers, the institutions can also provide information on how customers should interact with their bank, and, importantly, how to keep themselves safe from criminals.

“If you know what to look for and what action to take ahead of time, you can prevent or reduce the impact and inconvenience, and that’s what we want you to help us with,” Ms Kow encouraged JN members.  “I want you to listen closely to what the police have to say as well as our JN fraud security expert and digest the information. And, tell your neighbours and friends, so that they will be aware too.”

Education as a Defense

Addressing members in St Thomas and Manchester, Deputy Superintendent of Police Warren Williams, who is second in command at the Communication Forensics and Cybercrimes Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), emphasised that education is an effective way to help persons deflect attacks and avoid becoming victims.

“There are a lot of risks and implications, and it will be even more challenging [to disrupt these scammers]. So, it is important that, as we move on, we be aware of the different tactics being pursued by these criminals,” he told members attending the meetings.

According to the Deputy Superintendent, the police have been making progress in their efforts to suppress cybercriminal networks in Jamaica.  Notwithstanding, he encouraged members to be cautious when conducting their banking online and otherwise.

“Scamming is now second to homicide in Jamaica, but we have seen progress. A lot of cases are before the courts all over the country and persons are being convicted and persons are being put away,” he disclosed.

He urged the JN members to use ATMs in protected areas and to always contact the bank if suspicious of any communication appearing to come from the institution.

“With technology… always verify first. You have to play your part and you cannot be overly careless with what you do,” he stated.

Adopting Safe Banking Practices

Doubling down on the point made by the DSP, Joscelyn Campbell, executive, Corporate Integrity at JN Group, urged members to adopt the ‘ABC’ approach to protect themselves.

“Your takeaway from this meeting is that you must be singing your ABCs – Assume nothing. Believe nothing. Check everything. If you follow that in doing your banking, you will be safe,” he advised, as he shared practical ways in which members can protect themselves while transacting their business.

He was supported by Captain Michael Powell, head of security at JN Bank, who assured members that the institution is consistently working to stay ahead of criminals, pointing out that the bank’s ATMs are carefully designed to limit opportunities for frauds, such as card skimming.

“We have put measures in place to prevent skimming, but criminals are always working to find ways to counter, so we will always be trying to improve,” he assured. “[But] it doesn’t mean that you should be careless and say they may not be able to capture the information at a JN machine, [remember] they can capture it at others,” he cautioned.




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