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Rising conmen trends

10 February 2012, 15:36 Dennis Ochande

Nairobi - Rising trends used by conmen in the city ‘Whoever does not work should not eat.’ ‘You reap what you sow,’ are the words from the holy bible that warn and encourage every human creature to work very hard so as to have something at the table for the stomach at the end of the day.

Many people have adhered to these holy words, have struggled to secure jobs, with their little earnings, life has favoured them. Due to the fact that every town has a mad man, not all people believe in eating the fruits of their labour, there are those who have turned out to be professional beggars, thieves, robbers, brokers and conmen to ensure that the enzymes in their stomachs have something to work on.

Ouma's folly

“I was approached by a stranger who looked naïve and asked me if I could help him locate the Kenya Charity Sweepstake(KCS) house in Nairobi,” says Peter Ouma, a businessman at Toi market in Kibera.

Peter never knew the location but the stranger insisted. He then told Peter that he had come from Maua and had won Kshs. 200,000 in the charity sweepstake which he wanted Peter to assist him to get since he did not have a national identification card. With a Good Samaritan’s spirit, Peter offered himself to assist. Little did he know that he had befallen in the hands of a conman.

“He promised to give me Kshs. 20,000, and since I only had five thousand shillings I thought that would be good for me,” says Peter.

He gave Peter the coupon and told him to go to KCS house to get the money. Before Peter could go further, the stranger called him back and asked for anything from him to show that he would come back. Peter who was now carried away and had his wallet in a small bag gave it to the stranger and he set off.


“On reaching at the KCS office, the secretary told me that I had been conned, she pealed off an attached paper from the coupon and gave it back to me.”Peter said. Peter never believed neither what his ears heard nor what his eyes saw, but the fact is he had been conned.

While one still wonders where and how these conmen plan the execution of their evil plans to the hardworking individuals, the question is who is smarter than the other?

Mulinge's job con

Jared Mulinge was awakened by a friend who told him that someone was looking for anybody who was computer literate to get a job. Jared went to see the guy who offered to give him a job as a data entry clerk at a water company. Jared was asked to carry his CV and two passport photos. He did not have the photos so the guy told him that he would take them in the city.

Jared’s CV was corrected by the guy who told him that he will have to type another one. They left for town, went to a photo studio and took passport photos, and then they entered into a cyber café to type a new CV.

A few minutes later, the guy told Jared to give him the money to go pay for the photos and to buy the human resource manager a cup of tea because he had already secured a job. Jared had four thousand shillings with him. He gave the guy three thousand for the HR manager and one thousand for the photos and typing the CV, expecting to receive a balance.

The guy also took Jared’s phone saying that his phone battery  was low on charge and he wanted to talk to the HR manager about the job deal.

That was the last time that Jared set eyes on the conman, as he was left in the cyber without even a single cent, or job prospects. He had no idea of where to begin his search of the conman and no means to locate him.

When such an incident happens, one wonders whether to report such a case to a police station or not. When recording a statement at a police station, one has to provide information that may lead to the arrest of the culprits, since the victims only meet these conmen once and they are gone, it becomes too tricky to get them arrested.

Alice's wonder

Alice was tricked by a man who pretended to be a prophet and a woman.

As she walked in town, a man approached her asking her the location of Red Cross offices. She said no and a lady joined their conversation offering to take the man to these offices. Before they left, the lady claimed to have seen the man on television preaching, healing, helping the needy with funds and even foretelling their future lives.

The man thanked the lady for identifying her and said that he had come to Nairobi for the same mission and that they were the very lucky to have met him before dealing with anybody else. He embarked on his false prophecy of looking at their hands and foreheads to tell what their future holds. On hearing the man’s words that seemed to confuse her, Alice was told that she had to go to a nearby church and pray seven times. First, it was the lady who went for prayers and left all her belongings under Alice’s care. Alice’s turn came and she also did the same. On her way back to meet the ‘prophet’, she realized that she had been conned.

“I reported the case to a police station, they gave me an abstract to get another identification card and assured me that they will arrest the culprits, but since then I have never heard any word from them,” says Alice. The heart of the matter is that, Alice was conned and the culprits could not be traced.

Way forward

Technological advancement has not only benefited hard thinking and hardworking individuals but has also been beneficial to those who sit down and plan how to steal from others. People have received short messages, calls, emails and even letters from unknown people who claim that one has one in a certain competition or promotion.

The burning issue is that, why sit down and plan an evil trick to con a person while at the same time you can find something to do and get a penny, and how do people who fall victims of such lured until these evil plans become successful and end up losing their valuables? 

Disclaimer: News24Kenya encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24Kenya.

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