The General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mrs. Esther Gyebi-Donkor has warned the general public against criminals engaged in the fraudulent sale of cars in the name of the Port Authority.
She described as unfortunate instances where unscrupulous persons are using all sort of means to swindle vulnerable members of the public.
A medical doctor who works with a reputable hospital in Accra was duped by fraudsters of an amount of GH¢21,000 after promising to get him a car at the Port.
According to the medical Doctor who wants to remain anonymous for investigations sake, he saw a car he was interested in being advertised on Tonanton, an online marketing site and as a result made a contact with the agent who sent him pictures of the cars.
He added that a man who claimed to be the Director-General of GPHA called him to say that he had received his application for the car and, however, needed to complete the process by paying GH¢3000 in addition to some amount of money he had already paid.
The Doctor said he also received a text message from the Customs division of the GRA confirming that he was doing business with them.
After that, he said one of the agents who said his name was Elvis Boakye asked him to expect the car 10th May, 2018 after he had paid a total amount of GH¢21,000 to the swindlers.
But speaking in an exclusive interview on Eye on Port, a maritime programme on national television, Mrs. Gyebi-Donkor said it is the Customs division of the GRA that auctions cars in designated terminals and not the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
She said some persons clone the GPHA website and manage to add other information including the fact that vehicles are being auctioned or sold in their bid to defraud the public.
“They deceive the public by indicating days and where they can pay some cash through mobile monies and certain accounts. And people unfortunately misconstrue that to mean that they are dealing with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority,” she said.
She said if one visits the GPHA website which is www.ghanaports.gov.gh there is nowhere would one find it stated that the Port Authority is auctioning cars.
“But these people will snapshot our website and manage to add that kind of information creating a fake website in GPHA’s name. Meanwhile, they go to sites like Tonaton and OLX and link it to the fake website and indicate that if you need a car, you should go to that fake website,” she explained.
She entreated the public to always look out for the original GPHA website which is www.ghanaports.gov.gh.
“Apart from our website, if the public wants to know or have any information concerning GPHA, we would advise that they either go to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org,” Mrs. Gyebi-Donkor added.
Mrs. Esther Gyebi-Donkor explained that “if there is any enquiry to make about auction cars it must be done at the Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority because they are in charge of auction.”
“If anybody tells you that GPHA is selling cars, don’t waste your time to make any further enquiries. It should just tell you that somebody is trying to dupe you,” she advised.
It is important to note that, it may not matter ones level of education, these swindlers are duping, teachers, engineers, journalists, and police officers, military personnel, marketing executives, lawyers, accountants and so on. Just be careful and mindful who you trust and do business with.
Once again, kindly note that the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority says, they do not engage in auctioning and selling of cars, therefore make sure you go through legitimate means of purchasing a vehicle to avoid falling a victim to these swindlers.