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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


Wherever there are many people, there are crimes, too. Like any other country of the world, Dominica has to suffer from criminals.

The good news is the crime rates are lower than in other places. The bad news is crime has been increasing there, too.

The most spread crimes against travelers are pocket picking and larceny. Criminals prefer small valuables and money. They also hunt for passports, so be especially careful with yours. If you find out your passport is lost, you should notify the police and the embassy of your country.

The valuables stolen most often are jewelry and electronics. But keep in mind people lose their cards filched much more often than they become victims of credit card frauds.

The emergency phone number is 999. Remember it, but take into account it won’t prevent you from falling a victim to a crime. Protect your property yourself. First, don’t leave the things you value unattended, because larceny by finding is widespread. If you don’t keep an eye on something, you are likely to be in no need of it at all. Second, revise your opinion about what is leaving something unattended.

It’s not just leaving belongings in public, it is also leaving them behind in the hotel room or in a car. Third, hide your cash and cards in bags; you may even wrap them in clothing. And do not flash your valuables around. If you do, beware and stay away from dark areas empty of people. If you do not, stay away of them anyway. Just in case.

Proper precautions mean safe. If you neglect them (but you better don’t), you may count on the low crime rates. However, whatever your choice is, remember not to become a criminal yourself. I’m not talking about thefts and murder, no, I have to warn you about things some people would find inoffensive: Doing drugs or even mere having them. It is a sufficient reason for a prison sentence. Cannabis is produced in Dominica, but this does not mean it’s legal. Avoid it.

If you do not disregard measures I’ve told you of and follow my advices, you’ll be all right. Have a nice trip!

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Students all around the island is heading back to school this week, as a new school years begins in an environment where crimes among youths are on a steady climb, and an economy that’s surviving on a shoe string.

For parents and guardians throughout the region, it must be stressful time for those who’re truly concerned about the future of youth.

Nowadays, youths face pressures, not only in the classrooms but also on the streets. There is hardly week that goes by that we don’t hear a report of some type of violent crime. Sadly, more often than none these are crimes perpetuated on our youth and by our youth and in other instances, adults leading them astray.

People who usually speak out against this type of behaviour from our youth are often classified as elitist, old fashioned, or not with the times. But if we turn a blind to these situations, as it often is, then our youth are heading down a path for disaster, which will be a serious disadvantage to our country’s future.

Nurturing our children along the path of life is never easy and hiding them from the ills that may pop up along the way, is not going to make it any easier. What can help is a more responsible attitude from parents and those adults trusted with their care in school, at home and otherwise.

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Microsoft phishing filterPhoto by Rodrigo Galindez

Some of you may think that there’s a typo in the headline, but the word “Phishing” is no mistake and should be cause for concern. Phishing pronounced “fishing”, is a technique used by internet fraudster in the attempt to tick bank and credit card customers to innocently reveal their security detail so that they can gain access to the individual accounts.

Phishing has been around for years in the UK, US, and in many of other mainland countries. Readers who follow international financial or business news would know the term.

Some reader might be thinking “man, Dominica is too small for crooks to bother with us”. And I understand why, because I too use to think the same way. Well that delusional way of thinking was abruptly dismissed a few months ago, when our FedEx Regional office in Trinidad warned all employees of an e-mail that was being circulated purporting to be from FedEx IT Team and was directing employees to a website that looked very authentic.

So how does Phishing work?

From what understand, you receive an e-mail purporting to be from a financial institution or business with which you have a relationship. This e-mail would suggest that they have experienced a failure or security breach and require you to confirm your security credentials.

In most cases the email would contain a link to a log-on screen that looks very much like the institution’s website, however it is a fake. The details you enter into this site are recorded by the fraudsters for them to use at the real site and gain access to your account.

This is basic an example of Identity Theft and there are a lot more sophisticated techniques that criminals are using to gain security and other personal information from unsuspecting Internet users. So don’t ever think that Dominica is too small and is prone to these types’ internet crimes. In fact the Caribbean is the ideal place for these fraudsters to launch their attract. Most of the law enforcement agencies in the Caribbean, particularly Dominica are new to these types of internet crimes. In my next post, I will list some ways people can protect themselves against Internet fraud and phishing.

Have you been reeled in by phishing scammers? Like the individuals hoping to share in the Nigerian man’s fortune – is it greed or is it a mistake anyone could make? Tell us in the comments.

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