You are strolling casually minding your business when a smartly dressed man ( the perpetrator may be a woman too, but so far, all the recorded cases have been by men) walks up to you dangling car keys. He pretends to be new in the neighborhood and asks you if you know anyone who carries for people small luggage with a trolley, wheelbarrow, mkokoteni or anything of the sort. In a well devised strategy, he doesn’t even wait for you to answer as to whether you know any such carrier. Instead, he points to a lovely new car parked far enough and claims he is the owner. He then goes ahead to lay it down on you.
He claims that he has just bought a tyre for his car and is looking for someone to carry it for him from a nearby petrol station. He pretends to wonder if he really has to struggle looking for a carrier yet you look like a strong man who is able to easily hoist a tyre on your shoulder and bring it back. As a matter of tactic, the car he claims to own will be tiny. Probably a Vitz or Vitara. The reason for this is so that when he asks you to carry the tyre for him, you will readily agree, since the tyre is small.
He offers to pay you two hundred for your service. Just to show you how serious he is, he gives you a down payment of a hundred shillings. With the hard economic times, you figure that this is essentially free money. It’s not every day that you get paid 200 just to carry the tyre of a Vitz weighing only a couple of Kilograms.
He goes ahead to give you some code names and tells you that once you reach the petrol station, just say that you’ve been sent by 027 (or whatever code name he will pick). He then pretends to be calling someone at the petrol station and tells him he has sent someone with a blue T-shirt (or whatever colour you will be wearing).
Once you go about 10 metres, he calls you back quickly, pretending to be worried. He is afraid that not only might you not come back, but that you might also go away with his brand new tyre.
Because of this, he requests that you leave him with your phone number, and at least two numbers of people that you regularly call. However, more importantly, he demands that you leave him with you ID. He tells you to hurry up, and that he’ll be waiting for you next to his car.
Once you reach the petrol station, you are told that there’s no order which has been made by any 027.
You rush back to where you agreed that you would meet so that you can have him solve the small misunderstanding, only to find no one.
What just happened is that a fraudster just committed identity theft on you. He will change the ownership of your line, access your Mpesa, solicit money from your associates, or even do worse, and all he had to do is dish out a hundred shillings.
This tactic mostly targets Hustlers, or those looking like blue-collar workers.
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