Beware of con artists!
- Victims of fraud relate their stories
While scam artists continue to prey on the gullible individuals in society, their tricks soon land them in the hands of the criminal justice system. Such is the case of one fraudster, Troy Webster, who was recently arrested by members of the Guyana Police Force.
Webster is in the business of defrauding young girls, which he told police is his only method of survival.
Kaieteur News understands that Webster poses as a businessman, in search of females to suitably fill the vacancies of sales representatives, supervisors and managers at his boutiques.
Their salaries would be within the range of $17,000 to 35,000 weekly. Webster however, told his potential employees that before they are hired, they are required to purchase uniforms at the cost $7,500 which is “company policy.”
Two of his victims, who wished to be identified as Candacie and Abiola, recounted their sobering experience with the trickster. Candacie, a single mother, said that she heard of “the job” through her aunt, who works as a security officer and that she “jumped” at the opportunity since she was really in need of “honest work.”
“I pay for the uniform and he tell me that he gon call me fuh turn on to wuk de Monday. That was in last month. He never call back and de number he give ringing out.” According to the Candacie, the man who identified himself as Troy St. Martin was a well dressed personality.
“He say that he only want females for the positions cause only three positions left, and so I ain’t think nothing cause he ain’t look like a beggar.”
Coincidentally Abiola and Candacie are cousins. Abiola said that the man contacted her and told her that his name was Malcolm Welcome. She explained that her cousin had cautioned her thus she was able to deal with the situation differently.
“I tell he that I interested in de position and that I gon pay fuh the uniform and he promise fuh meet me. Anyway we set up de police and fuh ketch he…He mek lil styles fuss cause I think he suspected something cause he de keep saying how he busy, that he container come in and that he manager gon come. But I tell how I really want the job bad and so he decide fuh come collect de money and the police hold he.”
Webster decided to meet with Abiola last Tuesday night and was arrested by plainclothes police officers. The women asserted that while they could have chosen to let the issue go, their concern went beyond themselves as it could happen to anyone.
“We would just like to warn the public about this kind of thing cause who knows how much people he done and gon do it to.”
As it turns out, Webster is an inmate of the night shelter. He told police at his arrest that he has been swindling money from young women to pay for food and medicine to treat his deteriorating health.
Police are currently conducting investigations into the matter; several reports have been lodged against the man, who is currently detained at the Diamond Police Station. Charges are likely to be laid shortly.
As has been proven over time, people of all backgrounds, ages and status quo can become victims of fraud. One victim was East Bank Businessman, Swamee Sukhu.
Sukhu, of Swamee and Sons lumber yard, Herstelling, reportedly lost over a $1 million worth of wood. According to Sukhu, the supply was purchased on a fake cheque by a David Gates who purportedly represented “Popeye’s Wings and Things” a company, which Gates
claimed he controlled.
The sawmill owner said that the trickster had contacted him by phone last Friday and requested a supply of lumber as “his company was contracted to build low income houses.
The caller made arrangements and even sent “an engineer” to inspect the wood before it was delivered.
“I never see this man we were supposed to meet but he never come forward he send somebody else then call me back and promise to send a cheque before the delivery of the goods.”
Sukhu recounted that the cheque was delivered by taxi and the delivery was made soon after.
He said that it was during this time that he recognized that something was amiss.
“After the delivery was made to requested locations; Canter trucks came and picked up the supplies immediately. People don’t usually do that. By this time I had already deposited the cheque in my Scotia Bank account.”
The sawmill operator said, before he could grasp what was happening, he received a telephone call informing him that he had been scammed. This caller, he said, claimed to be another person who knows the whereabouts of the con artist. The caller nonetheless requested $500,000 to release the information.
Sukhu said that he immediately made contact with the police and lodged a report and the Providence Station. He later found out that no such individual or company existed.
According to the businessman this issue is not an isolated one as several other sawmills were reportedly ripped off by the same bogus company.
Sukhu is hoping that the investigators can get to the bottom of the story and solve the case.