Cybercrime on the Rise in the Caribbean Region, Impacted by Advancements in Technology and COVID-19
Cybercrime is on the rise across the Caribbean Region, according to the Caribbean Communities’ (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS). The regional body is responsible for cybercrime in the region and provides insight into the cybercrime components of various projects. The organization says that computer crimes such as phishing scams, identity theft, and ransomware attacks are becoming common in the region. Dale Joseph, Cyber Policy Specialist at CARICOM IMPACS, explained how the COVID-19 pandemic and advancement in technology have led to an increase in cyber-attacks.
Dale Joseph, Cyber Policy Specialist, CARICOM IMPACS: “The answer to that is unfortunately, yes. During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw an increase in the number of users using the internet for remote working and well for general existence. And what that did, it actually opened up a lot of vulnerabilities for the cyber criminals and cyber attacks. And what we saw at the start of the pandemic is an increase in online abuse, an increase in persons being targeted, the senior citizenry in terms of they being fleeced and defrauded of their finances and we also saw an uptick in social engineering scams where persons were encouraged to participate in cryptocurrency exchanges that were bogus and after a while they disappeared and they were fleeced of some of their money. So the answer is yes but we have been working with our member states through initiatives like this to bolster sensitization because we recognize that awareness is the only way that we could curb some of these things going forward.”