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Medics’ reputations under threat by impersonator

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The reputation of several medical doctors here is being threatened as certain individuals have been impersonating them and engaging in criminal acts.{{more}}

A press release from the SVG Medical Association dated Wednesday, April 14, 2010, states that the individuals have been impersonating the doctors and soliciting cell phone credit, food and other supplies from vendors and businesses.

President of the Association Dr. Don Antonio Martin spoke to SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, April 21, and told us of several instances when one person impersonated him.

Martin said that he became aware of the problem around February of this year when he was accused of taking cell phone credit from a vendor without paying for it.

“One morning I had a call at my home. Someone was informing me that someone in the market place was accusing me of taking cell phone credit and not paying for it,” he said.

Martin, however, thought that it was just a geniune misunderstanding, until about two weeks later, he was confronted with a similar scenario. According to Martin, he went to Daddy’s Shop to purchase a drink, when someone informed him that a person called the shop saying that they were Dr. Martin and that they wanted $300 worth of credit, adding that they would repay the vendor later.

Martin added that the vendor made the transaction and the person paid for the credit, but later requested more credit, which was not paid for.

In another instance, Martin said that a woman came to his private clinic asking him for ‘the stuff’ he had promised her, which was also $300 worth of credit. It was at that point that Martin went to the Police taking the woman with him.

Martin disclosed that other doctors, including District Medical Officers Dr. Patriana Badnock and Dr. Jasmine Ellis-Davy have been victims of similar scams.

One source told SEARCHLIGHT that a person went to a shop in the Marriaqua area saying that the doctor had sent to collect some groceries. When the shopkeeper said the doctor had not called to alert him, he (the shopkeeper) was told “Doc is busy”.

It was only when the shopkeeper later billed the doctor for the groceries and the doctor denied ever having sent anyone to collect groceries that the scam was discovered.

“I have reason to believe that the person is very knowledgeable of the database of doctors we have in St. Vincent, because they know their names very well. They know were the persons operate from.”

He further related that a person has impersonated a doctor and asked for assistance in clearing medical supplies from the Department of Customs and Excise. The phone credit transactions, he said, were done via the Digicel telecommunications network.

“It makes me worried about myself and my safety…this person is discrediting my name and also other persons’ names,” Martin added.

He is urging the public to be aware of these individuals and to be more vigilant when carrying out transactions. “Ask for more specific information in terms of identity of a person. Don’t just take it for a name.”

The press release further stated that the matter has been brought the attention of the Police.