A Guyanese woman is now distraught, devastated, and struggling to repay monies after being scammed by a man who pretended to be the son of famous Guyanese-born singer, Eddy Grant.
The victim, a small business owner of Lethem, Region 9, Guyana, South America, told this publication that she first connected with the man on Facebook around October, 2021, and the two started chatting and became friends via Facebook.
The scammer identified himself as “Anthony Grant,” as indicated on his Facebook profile, and claimed to be the son of famous Guyanese-born singer, Eddy Grant. Claiming to be a businessman who often gives people items on “hold over,” the man sent very convincing pictures of products which he claimed to have on hand ready to deliver. The items included computers and computer related products, dresses, footwear, music players, etc. He even offered to send computers for as low as $38,000 each since, he said, he was offering huge discounts.
The unsuspecting woman started to engage the man in business discussions and he convinced her to send $80,000 for a shipment of products. The woman said she sent the money via a bus service which runs from Lethem to Georgetown. The man was very prompt in uplifting the money. He arrived there just five minutes after the money arrived and, upon showing his driver’s license, collected the money. He immediately called the woman in Lethem to acknowledge receipt of the cash and said he will start shipping the products.
The seasoned scammer then called back the woman and told her that he will pack even more things into the truck – a small canter truck – and that the woman could sell them and pay as they are sold. At this point, he convinced the woman to send $75,000 more to pay the truck driver. The woman agreed and sent it once again with the bus service.
About one week later, the scammer told the woman that the truck was all loaded and about to depart to Lethem. However, the next day, the woman received no call. A few days later, she called the scammer and asked where the truck was. The scammer then said that the driver of the truck got lost and took a trail to Mahdia instead. He made up more stories about having to take fuel for the truck to Linden, and, about four weeks later, said that the truck was now on the way to Lethem again.
However, once again, days passed and no truck arrived in Lethem. The victim then called the scammer, and this time, he made up a story that the truck got lost and went to Mahdia again where it got robbed of all the products this time.
The victim then insisted that she wants her monies back as it was his responsibility to ensure the products arrived safely. At first, the man started to make excuses, but finally said that he is willing to pay back the money, but not in cash. The man said he would instead pack another truck full of products, this time, more than the last one, and send it to Lethem.
At that point, the scammer convinced the victim to send another sum of money (over $100,000), which she did. The scammer then said the truck was all packed. He claimed it was a small canter belonging to Mohamed’s Enterprise in Georgetown. At that point, the woman said she had engaged her friends to partner in the “business” and the total monies she had sent to the scammer amounted to more than $300,000.
This time around, the scammer upped his game. He called the woman and her friends’ phone all hours of the night pretending that he was the truck driver trying to find direction to Lethem. However, the next day, no truck arrived. At that point, the victim, for the first time, started to suspect that she might be dealing with a con artist.
She called the con artist who told her that the driver of the truck couldn’t find her in Lethem and so he decided to turn back to Georgetown. At that point, the woman said she insisted she wanted a refund as she didn’t want to be a part of this game any longer.
The con artist then started to make all sorts of excuses, such as that he was in Suriname, etc. Being in a difficult position, the woman decided to travel to Georgetown, on the 21st of January, 2022, to try to locate the scammer. Upon arriving in Georgetown, the woman, with the help of a male friend with military background, started to ask around for the man, showing his photo to people. They finally managed to locate his Duncan Street, Campbellville, address. The people who knew him said he was known as “Murphy” and not “Anthony Grant.” Also, during the search, the woman discovered that the scammer had made a lot of false claims to her about owning businesses which were in fact not his.
The victim kept calling the man’s phone but she received no answer. He finally answered and said he was in Suriname. Some days later, on the 1st of February, 2022, he arranged to meet the woman at the Demico taxi park in Georgetown. There, he handed the woman what looked like a coil of money wrapped up in plastic and told her not to open it there because she might get robbed. He told the woman to put the money discreetly away and only open the package when she got home. He also asked the woman for $5,000 to “go home” because, he said, he had exhausted all his funds in repaying her. She gave him the $5000 and left.
Upon arriving home, the woman opened the package and was shocked to learn that she was ripped off again. What appeared to have been a coil of money was nothing more than two Barbados dollars cleverly wrapped around a clump of plastic.
The victim said that at that point she decided to engage the police. She first visited the Brickdam Police Station to make a report but they referred her to Campbellville Police Station since it was closer to the con artists’ home. The woman said the police there showed little interest in assisting her and demanded that she accompany the ranks to the house of the con artist and also that she must know the exact time when he will be home – in order for an arrest to be made.
Seeing that the police were not taking decisive steps in helping her, the woman decided to return home so she could resume her business, take care of her kids, pay off her bills, and pay back the money which she had taken from her friends to send to the scammer.
The woman is now living in fear for her life as the scammer has threatened to harm her if she reports the matter to the police again. And he also threatened to harm her if she puts the story in the media. The victim said that she decided to report the story to the media because the scammer left her life in shambles, and hopes that the police will take stronger action in arresting him and put a stop to his threats.
The victim of this seasoned con artist would also like to warn all Guyanese to be on the lookout and said that she has reason to believe that this man usually targets women with small business because she heard similar stories of attempted scams from other people in Georgetown.
Team Guyana, South America trusts that the Guyana Police Force will up their game and take firm action in bringing this scammer to justice as soon as possible.