THE ‘street-smarts’ of some prisoners at the Camp Street prison have enabled them to fleece some naïve Digicel Guyana customers of money on a regular basis.And although Digicel sounded a warning via an advertisement, some gullible people still lost money to the swindlers whose cell phones they have topped up by making purchases in various amounts of pre-paid cell phone cards.
During one such call, the conman on the line would announce, especially to female customers, that they had won Samsung cell phones and cash and in order to collect their prizes they need to buy pre-paid cell phone cards and scratch the back of the card to reveal the numbers there to him.
Then the customer will be told to go to the nearest Digicel store to uplift his / her prizes in the promotion. Mostly women have been duped of thousands of dollars and when they showed up to collect their prizes at the various Digicel stores they would be told that no such promotion was current. In one such case, an elderly woman almost collapsed before relating her story to staffers.
To date prison officials, including Director of Prisons Welton Trotz, are in denial and refused to talk about the matter even though they are aware of it.
However, a well-placed source told this publication that there are impromptu raids taking place within the walls of the prison and dozens of cell phones; sharp instruments including knives are seized but prisoners continue to find ways and means of getting prohibited things into the prison.
The source disclosed that prisoners get things into prison via unconventional methods and some even utilise the very prison officers to take stuff to them.
On August 22, 2015 the Guyana Chronicle broke this story and those fake calls from blocked numbers ceased for a while but the scam has not stopped and persons continue to be duped.
Digicel Guyana, since being made aware of the scam, has published an advertisement in the daily newspapers with a glaring advisory.