How shop owners were duped with fake telephone calls in Warri

How shop owners were duped with fake telephone calls in Warri

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Nemesis has caught up with a middle-aged woman, simply identified as Mercy, after her alleged attempt to fraudulently cart away six bags of rice from a trader’s shop in Warri, Delta State, failed.
Mercy was arrested and is currently cooling her heels in a police cell in the state.
According to one of the sales girls, simply identified as Gift, the woman came into the shop while pretending to be engaged in a conversation with the owner on phone.
Gift added that after she finished the call, she told the sales girls that the shop owner had agreed that they should give her 10 bags of rice on credit.
The sales girl said that she and her colleagues in the shop did not suspect any foul play by the woman because they had overheard her talking with the shop owner and they were convinced that she had actually struck a deal with her to take the 10 bags of rice on credit and pay later.
Gift added that they then handed only six bags of rice to the woman, who also became very friendly as she was collecting the consignment from them.
Immediately she collected the six bags of rice from the women, she was said to have left the shop.
She said, “When the woman came into our shop, she was talking with my madam like an old friend. So, we thought she was her customer. She told us that she had already talked with our madam and she had agreed that we should give her six bags of rice.
“She was smiling all the time she was talking to us and we thought that she was a nice woman. She was very nice to us in the way she was talking. At the end of the day, we gave her the six bags of rice without collecting any money from her.
“Not quite long after she had left, our madam came running to the store and she asked us if we collected money from the woman. We told her that we did not collect any money from her and that was when she raised the alarm and the whole street gathered.
“It was at that moment that she alerted the community’s vigilance group, who barricaded all the exits from the streets and she was finally caught.”
The woman was apprehended by the members of the vigilance group and immediately handed over to the police. untitled
Another trader, Mrs. Efedede, who had fallen victim to the woman’s alleged fraudulent antics last year, said that the suspect had been in the alleged shady business for a very long time. She added that it was God that had exposed her “evil ways.”
“This woman did the same thing to me last year, September. This year, she is in the same area, again, and just some few streets away from my shop. She has been doing this thing for a very long time and thank God that she has been caught today,” she said.
Efedede said the suspect’s modus operandi was going to her victim’s shop after she had been sure that she was not around and pretending to be calling the shop owner while the sales girls would be listening.
“She would then tell the sales girls that that she had just finished talking to their madam. And because the sales girls would be listening to her when she was making the calls, she would tell them that she had just finished talking to their madam, who is her customer. They would believe her and then load the bags of rice into her vehicle, without even confirming from their madam.
“The day she came to my shop I was not around. I don’t know how she managed to get my number. She called and talked for some seconds and cut the call. She called again and did the same thing. I did not know that at that time she was pretending to talk to me. She told my girls that she had spoken with me and that I had agreed for her to carry 10 bags of rice. With that, they gave her the 10 bags of rice and she left and that was the last we saw of her.
“She gave my girls N400 for their efforts in helping her load the rice into her car. When I saw what she had done to me, I left everything for God and I went to the altar in our church and dropped the money there,” Efedede added.
As at the time of filing this report, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of B’ Division told our correspondent on the phone that he was on an official duty outside his station.
But sources close to the division disclosed that investigation into the matter was still going on.

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