August 18, 2016 2:20 pm

Fake Facebook accounts used to provide fake RBF approvals

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Mr Barry Whiteside does not have a Facebook profile and members of the public communicating with “Barry Whiteside”on Facebook on official matters are advised to be cautious. It has been brought to the attention of the Bank and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that cybercriminals have created several […]

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Mr Barry Whiteside does not have a Facebook profile and members of the public communicating with “Barry Whiteside”on Facebook on official matters are advised to be cautious.

One of the many fake Facebook account of the RBF Governor Barry Whiteside. (Facebook)
One of the many fake Facebook account of the RBF Governor Barry Whiteside. (Facebook)

It has been brought to the attention of the Bank and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that cybercriminals have created several Fake Facebook profiles under his name “Barry Whiteside”.

In a statement, the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) said cases have been brought to the attention of the FIU and the RBF that these false personations were used to provide fake RBF approvals for victims to remit funds to secure proceeds of fake lotteries, investments, and loans.

Governor Whiteside said that the RBF and its staff do not communicate with anyone via Facebook or other social media on official business matters.

Governor Whiteside said that anyone who receives any communication or document purporting to be sent from him or any staff of the RBF must immediately refer it to the RBF and FIU for verification and further investigation.

Scam Emails

A number of incidents of scam emails have also surfaced claiming to be from Governor Whiteside with fake messages and documents.

Members of the public and stakeholders of the RBF are advised to exercise extreme caution when they receive unsolicited emails or lookalike emails without the official RBF domain @rbf.gov.fj

Bogus Loans and Grants 

The statement has also cautioned members of the public to immediately cease communication with the criminals as the letterhead and logo of the RBF has also been illegally used using fake social media profiles and emails.

RBF: “Members of the public are advised that the RBF does not engage in the business of providing personal or commercial loans. The victims should immediately cease communication with the criminals. Members of the public are warned not to provide any personal and financial information on the fake loan documents.”

Meanwhile, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit Mr Razim Buksh said that such incidents were not caused by any compromise to the RBF’s website or Email servers.

He said that in the above-mentioned cases, cyber criminals have abused social media to impersonate Governor Whiteside and commit fraud.

Mr Buksh said that members of the public should not open unsolicited and suspicious email messages.

BUKSH: “Unsolicited email messages (that usually provide a website link or an attached document) could be infected with dangerous viruses that could compromise your email account, social media profiles, personal computers, and mobile devices.”

The matter is still under investigations by the Cybercrime Unit of the Fiji Police Force and the public has been advised to report any such cases to the Fiji Police Force or the Financial Intelligence Unit.