A middle aged man that has been parading himself as a marketer of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, was recently apprehended at Nwaniba Area of Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
The suspect whose name was given as Ndifreke Sunday was not lucky on that faithful day when some PHED customers whom he had previously collected money from with intention of helping them to pay their electricity bills, ran into him at the point of doing the same to a customer.
The swindled customers raised the alarm which attracted the neighbourhood and he was immediately arrested and handed over to Ewet Housing Divisional Police Station, Uyo from where he would be charged to court.
An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said that the fake marketer has for the past two months been collecting money from the unsuspecting customers, claiming that he was recently engaged as new marketer covering the area.
However, the affected customers started raising eye brow and began to search for the suspect when the money he claimed to have paid did not reflect in their subsequent electricity bills.
Read more: Meters Are Free – PHED
The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Kingsley Achife had earlier in 2017 during a public forum drawn the attention of the customers to be aware of fraudsters who are masquerading themselves as PHED’s staff members.
He warned the electricity users not to give anybody money including the staff of PHED for the purposes of paying bills on their behalf apart from the designated PHED offices, banks and the accredited agents.
“Henceforth, you are directed to pay your electricity bills at the offices of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, banks, and accredited GPAY agents nearest to you.
“Upon payment, you are requested to demand for receipts and confirmation of the amount paid including alert messages for further confirmation and in the case of the banks, you must obtain e-receipt before leaving the banking hall..
“You are also cautioned to avoid giving money to anyone to pay on your behalf to avoid being swindled”, Engr. Achife advised.