Statement by Hon Andrew A. Fahie
Premier of the Virgin Islands
2 July, 2020
Fake News Report in Circulation
Good day and God’s Blessings to all Virgin Islanders and Residents, and to the regional and international community.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is aware of something resembling a media report being circulating on the internet and social media channels, which item is nothing more than fake news.
The item is designed to give the appearance that it emanates from a media house in the Virgin Islands and bears the following headline: “SPECIAL REPORT: Andrew Fahie’s Latest Investment Has The Government And Big Banks Terrified”. The fake article portrays the Premier of the Virgin Islands, Hon Andrew A. Fahie, as promoting – especially to Virgin Islands citizens – some kind of crypto currency wealth loophole that is guaranteed to transform anyone into a millionaire within 3-4 months, among a host of other claims.
The national and international community are advised that the entire purported article is a fabrication. It is Fake News. No such interview, as stated in the item, was conducted by the Premier - whether with NEWS2 NEWSCASE, the BBC or any local news media. All the quotes attributed to the Premier are fake and fraudulent. No such financial investment programme as promoted by the fake article exists in the Virgin Islands.
Contrary to that fake report, I am not engaging in trying “anything” or am I in discussions with anyone regarding cryptocurrency. The British Virgin Islands adopted the US dollar as its currency in 1959 and have made no commitments to replace it as the official currency in any form.
One of the things I have learned while we were working on the Cybercrime Computer Misuse & Cybercrime (Amendment) Act of 2019 and I want members of the public to be mindful as well—electronic defamation is real and so persons must exercise caution as the webpage and the domain linked to the fake news post have characteristics that are usually associated with online scams that can affect computer and mobile phones with viruses and other malware. Additionally, malicious software can lead to theft of data such as personal photos, friends and business associates’ contact information from your electronic address book, banking information and more. It can also lead to identity theft.
It is unfortunate that persons would find time to engage in a malicious smear tactics and fabricate stories to deliberately misinform the public about the work of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and worse yet to prey on unsuspecting, innocent persons by piquing their curiosity with fake, sensational publications.
The consequences for persons who fall victim to whatever scam is being perpetrated by this fake news and fake websites can be very devastating. As such, I am appealing to members of our community to assist in conveying this message to your family, friends, co-workers and the wider public, so that persons can be aware and avoid harm. Let us be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers in this regard.
I thank you.