[UPDATED] Police warn against Christmas rip-offs

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Acting Snr Supt Joseph Chandool speaking at a press briefing on Thursday at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain. – Photo by Sureash Cholai

THE police warned the public to beware of various rip-offs taking place at Christmas time, advising people how to avoid being victims and promising to do their part against those with bad intentions towards others. The warning came on Thursday at the media briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.

CID Snr Supt Joseph Chandool said, “Around Christmas time persons may use the opportunity to take advantage of the good cheer and benevolence of the citizens.”

He warned against bogus charity donation collectors who abused people’s good cheer at this festive season. Chandool also warned about sales people offering questionable “deals” and warned against certain individuals coming onto people’s premises to offer to do odd jobs.

“All may not be well,” Chandool said. “Be careful. Not all of these people have noble intentions.”

Chandool said it would not be any one man show to protect the citizenry but rather a “concerted and collaborative effort” by all police officers plus members of the public to work together against crime. “In that effort we give the assurance we will not give up, we will not retreat and we will not surrender.”

He said the TTPS have recorded 978 serious crimes so far this year compared to 1,027 last year (for the same period.)

Chandool said the detection rate as 23 per cent, a rate he was not happy with and which the police were working assiduously to improve.

He warned the public to beware of getting robbed in person by bogus buyers/sellers they have initially encountered online.

Chandool said, “We have noted a new phenomenon, which is being called ‘online robbery.’ These are instances where people try to transact sales online and meet at a location and are often robbed of their cash or the commodity which they have for sale.”

He said the police executive and the Port of Spain Division urged people to try to meet at a venue which is not risky.

“The executive has urged the meeting place to be at a police station. If one asks to meet at a police station and the other party refuses to do so, that ought to raise a red flag and everything may not be above board.”

Asked about the police service Cyber Crime Unit, he said they pursue such culprits assiduously to bring them to justice, as the police are very concerned about people losing their hard-earned cash.

“The Cyber Crime Unit is active and engaging the situation. It is a robust operation and we have made successes.

“It is concerning because persons are losing their hard-earned commodities and cash. So we are concerned about it. One event is too many for the TTPS, so we are pursuing assiduously and vigorously to bring the culprits to justice.”

Chandool also warned people to physically check their cars are properly locked after using electronic keys, which he said were prone to failure.

“We might press the button and feel that our vehicle is locked, but it might not be. I urge you to do a physical check to ensure the door is locked before you walk away from your vehicle.”

He said the Stolen Vehicle Squad was also working diligently at ports to curb the transport of stolen vehicles between Trinidad and Tobago, a trade which he later told Newsday can move in both directions.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Chandool warned members of the public to try to be aware of their surroundings for their personal safety. “Remember, complacency may not be your friend.”

Otherwise he admitted to some delays in the police processing certificates of character, but also promised an announcement soon of measures to bring relief.

This story was originally published with the title “Police warn of online-linked crime” and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

CID Snr Supt Joseph Chandool has warned the public to beware of getting robbed in person by bogus buyers/sellers they have initially encountered online.

He was speaking on Thursday at the media briefing at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.

“We have noted a new phenomenon, which is being called ‘online robbery.’ These are instances where people try to transact sales online and meet at a location and are often robbed of their cash or the commodity which they have for sale.”

He said the police executive and the Port of Spain Division urged people to try to meet at a venue which is not risky.

“The executive has urged the meeting place to be at a police station. If one asks to meet at a police station and the other party refuses to do so, that ought to raise a red flag.”

Asked about the police Cyber Crime Unit, he said they pursue such culprits assiduously to bring them to justice, as the police are very concerned about people losing their hard-earned cash.

Chandool also warned people to physically check their cars are properly locked after using electronic keys, which he said were prone to failure.

“We might press the button and feel that our vehicle is locked, but it might not be. I urge you to do a physical check to ensure the door is locked before you walk away from your vehicle.”

He said the Stolen Vehicle Squad was also working diligently to curb the transport of stolen vehicles betweenTrinidad and Tobago, a trade which he later told Newsday can move in both directions.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Chandool warned members of the public to try to be aware of their surroundings for their personal safety.

Otherwise he admitted to some delays in the police processing certificates of character, but also promised an announcement soon of measures to bring relief.