Letter of the Day | Hit scammers harder in the pocket
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I read an article on Page A3 of The Gleaner dated June 20, 2018, titled 'Twelve scammers convicted in Hanover'.
The article reads: "Last week was a very good one for the Hanover police, as 12 persons who were arrested recently under the lottery scam law were convicted in the Hanover Circuit Court."
I believe that the police are to be commended for their efforts in putting a dent in this type of nefarious criminality.
However, as I read through the details of the various convictions and the respective fines that these offences attract, I could not help but wonder whether or not these fines are sufficient to dampen the scammer's appetite for preying on innocent and sometimes old people.
Are we to think that a scammer who is worth his salt cannot easily make multiples of $80,000 during a 12-month period?
I do not know the intricacies of the business of scamming, but from what I see and read in the media, these people make bundles of money.
The relatively paltry sum of $80,000 could very well be a fraction of what is earned in a week by scamming. If this is true, all the scammer has to do is give the justice system one week's earning out of 52 and keep 51 for himself.
What is being implied here is that the persons being fined are able to easily pay these fines and are be back out on the street. Having paid the respective fines, such persons can easily relocate and restart their business - even from the location.
The rate of detection does not seem to be very high. Also, it would take a little while before the police make an arrest. During this time, the scammer is singing this song: "One for you, 51 for me."
It is my humble view that if we want to rid Jamaica of the scourge, we have to hit the pockets of scammers very hard. If this is not happening, scammers will, after conviction, regroup and resume their business. This repeat business is not good for the police. It increases their workload and stretch them beyond their manpower.