Due to the prevalence of predatory activities online, teens are warned that their internet interactions, could entrap them and land them in jail. Inspector Stacey-Ann Powell, a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Counter Terrorism & Organised Crime (C-TOC) unit, shared this cybercrime trend during the Online Safety Fireside Chat at FLOW Jamaica’s Safer Internet Day (SID) 2021 Virtual Teen Summit.
“When you are looking at fraudulent activities online, they [online predators] will approach young persons and [following investigations] we are seeing [where] accounts are rented, monies deposited and most times they [young persons] indicate that they did not know that it was a crime,” Inspector Powell stated.
“We ought to understand as young persons and teenagers, that once you are 12 and over, you become accountable [and can be] arrested for a crime within our country,”
advised Inspector Powell.
International cybersecurity company Fortinet, along with technology columnists for the New York Times and Forbes Magazine, have reported a steady increase in botnets and phishing since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nicholas Kee, a member of the UNICEF U-Report Council proffered critical thinking for internet use as a means of combatting illegal advances.
“The greatest threat to our internet usage now is that we are in the age of information overload and there are things that we need to be careful about,”
“Fake news is probably seen as the more popular mainstream ideology, but behind fake news is a lot of malicious activity by bad actors. It is imperative for us to think critically about the information that we consume and be mindful about its impact,”
The Bank of Jamaica’s 2018 Financial Stability Report listed 62 counts of internet banking fraud, totalling $38.2 million, revealing approximately two attacks per week. Last year, a cybersecurity report showed that data breach had catapulted by 150 percent in 2019.