The Office of the First Lady has been informed that residents of Georgetown and other areas across the country have been approached via telephone calls and text messages with requests for payment in exchange for scholarships.
In the light of this, First Lady, Mrs Sandra Granger, wishes to again reiterate that her office does not offer scholarships and would not request cash from private citizens.
In a Ministry of the Presidency release, the First Lady urged citizens to remain vigilant for anyone using her Office or her name to approach people with the proposition of down payments for scholarships.
“Several statements were issued by my Office and Ministry of the Presidency, on social media and in the local media advising people that my Office has absolutely no access to scholarships. All scholarships offered by the Government are offered through the Department of Public Service… If you are informed that you are to get a scholarship, check it out, call and find out…,” the First Lady said.
Mrs Granger also lamented the fact that individuals are taking advantage of citizens’ vulnerabilities. “These crooks are taking advantage of the naivety and the sensitivities of the people they are approaching… It is really a scam of the worst order because people are taking advantage of other people’s vulnerabilities… These people are going from one extreme to the next to make easy money out of vulnerable people,” she said.
According to the Ministry of the Presidency, just last April, a fraudster,Muhammad Ali, was arrested and placed before the court for impersonating the First Lady and tricking citizens into transferring money to him. The trickster managed to obtain 12 pennyweights of gold, worth $139,000 and $30,000 worth in GT&T and Digicel Phone Cards, while pretending that he was in the position to grant scholarships to a young woman. Ali has since been prosecuted and jailed.