Chief Youth Development Officer, John Roach, has called on members of the public to be more vigilant as it relates to making financial transactions through social media.
This, he said, follows a scam on Facebook where his photograph and name are being used to trick young people to believe that he is offering grants.
“Basically, what I want is for our people to be more vigilant about making financial transactions through social media because there is a lot of scam going on out there,” he told Dominica News Online on Thursday.
A page on Facebook popped up last year bearing Roach’s name and photo. A message from the scammer reads, “I want you to benefit from something I did recently, The Caribbean Cash Grant Initiative. I have been given three slots to refer. You are the third. After you are approved you will need to pay an IRS fee. The money came from the United States Treasury Department. I got a grant of $100,000 and paid $1000 for IRS. There are no paybacks, it’s a just a privilege. If you are interested I can refer you.”
Roach said some people are falling for it.
“Some people are actually believing it’s me, but the John Roach that you are seeing on Facebook offering any grants, please know that it is a scam and that is not John Roach, the Chief Youth Development Officer,” he stated.
He said that he became aware of the scam in November 2015.
“In fact, I was in Anguilla and someone called me and asked whether I contacted them on Facebook and I said ‘no,’ then I started getting calls from the United States, Guadeloupe, and a number of calls from young business people in Dominica,” he explained. “I informed them that it was not me.”
Roach stated further that he was informed that someone confronted the scammer and asked that person to stop.
“The person actually said they will stop and that they were unemployed and looking for a job. They have a degree in architecture and cannot get a job that’s why that person is doing that,” he stated. “I thought the person would stop after saying that they were going to stop. After that, I kept getting calls, young people meeting me on the road saying ‘Mr. Roach we are waiting for our grant.’”
According to Roach, he has since then reported the matter to police and also deactivated his personal Facebook account.