BVI News

RVIPF detecting a presence of schemes, online scams in the BVI

Amid a public warning from the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force has confirmed that there is a presence of pyramid schemes and online scams happening in the British Virgin Islands.

Detective Sergeant Elvis Richards of the RVIPF’s Financial Investigations Unit told BVI News that despite receiving no official reports from persons affected by pyramid schemes since 2018, intelligence have detected a number of these schemes still happening locally.

“I am aware, as we speak, of one that has the appearance of a pyramid scheme which is being operated by persons in the territory,” Detective Richards said.

“I think you have to join with two persons and you have to pay $1,300, and I believe $10,000 or something around that range is what’s being offered,” he added.

Persons embarrassed to report schemes

Richards also said he believes the absence of reports on these pyramid schemes is due to the embarrassment faced by some victims after losing huge sums of money.

“We always encourage persons who have been defrauded of funds to come and make a report to us and at least see how best we can investigate. But, from my experience, people tend not to want to report because they are mostly ashamed that they would have gotten caught up in such a scheme. So some people bare their loses and that’s it.”

Scams prevalent since hurricanes Irma and Maria

As it relates to pyramid schemes, Richards said a number of financial scams have been plaguing the territory in the last two years.

He, therefore, advised the public to exercise caution.

“We know there are a lot of online scams that have been operating since the hurricanes, where people have been defrauded of their monies via their bank account, or have been told that they won cash and they would send money through Western Union, or someone would befriend you on Facebook and then ask you to wire illegally-gained money through a third party,” Richards said.

“If you receive any mail saying that you have won $500,000 and you have to send money for it to be processed, that is a red flag right there. Sometimes you have to be careful in how you go about accepting these scam emails,” he stressed.

Monies in scams and schemes hard recoup

When asked about the likelihood of victims recovering their funds, the detective said the possibility of that occurring is usually very minimal.

“Most of the time, the person behind the pyramid scheme sometimes is unknown. And because it has gone so far, most of the monies are not recoverable because it didn’t start within the BVI. So, to trace, it takes a lot of time, effort and manpower and sometimes jurisdiction problems to go to another country to extradite,” he explained.

Seek advice on potential investments from the authorities

Detective Richards urged all persons who have been approached about a potential investment to seek professional advice before making a commitment and putting themselves at risk of fraud.

He encouraged persons to either contact the FSC, the Financial Investigation Agency (FIU) or the RVIPF to get the necessary information on the proposed investment and to assist with them making an informed business decision.

Just under two weeks ao, the FSC – the territory’s single regulatory authority for financial services business – had urged residents to beware of pyramid schemes and other related investment scams in the territory.

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  1. Real talk says:

    Mr chief of police mr matthew make sure you check with in your police orginisation that where it is rampant start cleaning your own back yard.

    Like 16
    Dislike 2
  2. Yep says:

    Yes, they promising you big money….one of the scheme is being run by someone at a very popular law firm here.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  3. Hulk says:

    A headline that says beware of corrupt police officers in the royal Virgin Islands police force would be most appropriate this bright Monday morning. I doubt they have interest to detect this.

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  4. Not to worry says:

    Don’t worry about these schemes. It’s just your African brethren from Nigeria sending emails that they need help with an inheritance or lotto winning. Just give them the info and money they need and you’ll be rich. Don’t worry these are honest good people just like in the BVI. LMAO

    Like 6
    Dislike 6
    • To don't worry says:

      The sad thing is it have nuff moomoo who fall for those Nigerian scams, you ain’t hear bout the old man up country who get block from sending money cause he sent so much to scammers?? He always down moneygram and western union begging people to send money down there for him.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
  5. talk that says:

    most of the players are police officers

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  6. Tell the whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth says:

    If you’re going to clean house, there have been illegal lottery ticket sales in the BVI for years. I have never seen any news article or blogging concerning these matters. I have also seen illegal betting, illegal money transfer businesses, illegal betting, prostitution and alot more. If some forms of gambling and lotteries are rigged and people lose money the same way. Why isn’t this headline also? If someone loses money in partner hand does this make the news also? I’m just saying sometimes these society can be so hypocritical.

    Like 9
    Dislike 4
  7. Just asking says:

    Who are you going for?
    1. The person who joins>?
    2. The person who also joins and collect?
    3. The person who joins and collect?
    4. The person who started it up but doesn’t collect profit?
    5. Most pyramids there is a Top person who collects and profit.
    From what I hear this one is not like that….
    The Government owes me a cheque for some years and made complaints nothing was done.
    Can I make a formal report for robbery?

    Like 16
  8. Hmmm says:

    Most if not all of these scams are originated out of the African region particular; Nigeria. I know a few people here who they have sent emails luckily these people were smart enough to know this is a scam. These scammers are so wicked they pry on the weak and unfortunately some folks do get caught up in the scam. People pay attention; these scammers are very smart.

    • mm says:

      they PRAY on ppl

    • To Hmmm says:

      Some are very weak and some are just greedy and want to get rich fast. I know some personally here on Tola who are scammed numerous times by the Nigerians and the more they send to the scammers is MORE the scammers keep asking….they have some of them like zombies, neglecting their own needs and bills just to send money to Nigeria. Greed is really the downfall for many

  9. Maxwell says:

    Persons who partake in these often too good to Be true schemes are greedy. What’s worst is that so called born against Christians are quick to drink the poison pill that are these schemes. Quick money schemes aka get rich quick schemes. It’s a waste off time telling people not to get involved in these schemes. The love of money is the root of all evils.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  10. xzfzxcx says:



    I’m not in this but clearly someone is buutt-hurt about this. Government not getting their cut, the thieving, legal system, malevolent companies and banks not getting their cut. Of course they will be angry.

    That’s why they will do all what they can to stop it.

    I work for what I want. I don’t really trust it because I don’t know when the bubble will pop but it seems good. Let people continue with it.

    But clearly it won’t because the powers that be are not involved. This is organized crime you’re dealing with and the mobsters are not happy.


  11. Old says:

    Get some under cover police and you wiii now how running this pymarid.It all over the bvi. Now. Lots of police in it. .when some lose there money it will stop.

  12. Old says:

    Get some under cover police and you wiii now how running this pymarid.It all over the bvi. Now. Lots of police in it. .when some lose there money it will stop. Or some One lose there life.

  13. lol says:

    police dont lock up police

  14. Police says:

    I am a police and you’ll sound stupid about police in it. If it is a scheme it is likely to attract persons from all types of professions. So what if a police is in it? I went in and haven’t been paid. What happen to all the locals who are in it? You’ll need to stop being bias. Everyone knows a pyramid has the potential to crash, is either you gain or lose just like gambling. But you small minded idiots who comment with no value talking about the police.

    When hurricane Irma and Maria struck the police we’re working sometimes up to 24 hours a day, what did they get for it? You has departments who the government gave extra monies to and the police still worked. You have departments who didn’t work for months and still got paid.

    The pandemic struck us and the police alongside with immigration and customs working lengthy hours and some of you were at home enjoying the free money from government, but yet all you’ll do is bash the police. It is SICKENING

  15. Also says:

    There is one called a SUSU. 12 people would put up a hundred dollars every week and each week whoever number is picked collects $1,200 dollars. Everyone gets their money. Sorry but, that is the way I make my extra money to help cover my bills.

  16. Fabian says:

    The biggest schemes are conducted by the banks and insurance companies. FSC has jurisdiction over them and says nothing to them. The banks lend you money at very high interest rates and claim it is 1% above prime – biggest lie and FSC should certainly ensure that this is not being done. Then you put the same about of the loan in the bank on a CD and cannot even get 1%.

    People now find a way to help themselves and each other and every law enforcement agency is blabbing about it. From what I heard people are encouraged to join, not forced to join. Until the law enforcement agencies receive a complaint they should leave the people alone. It’s a gamble, and the BVI just passed gambling laws. Gamble is gamble.

  17. Me says:

    Misson ayo let the people them lose their hard earn moneys in peace ah beg

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