Beware of Conmen

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By Anna Ingwafa WINDHOEK Con artists are on the loose in the city, making more and more Namibians fall for their devious deals. Namibians are losing more of their money and their property as a result of agreeing to fake promises of getting jobs or to have their money doubled. The conmen, whose trademark includes charming manners, ensnare unsuspecting victims with friendship that is withdrawn within the blink of an eye after they have gotten what they want. The city is swarmed with gangs of smart-looking men who stand outside shops pretending to have been sent by their managers who are apparently looking for workers. Victims are asked to part with whatever they are carrying before seeing the manager. And once they are left with the goods such as the groceries of their intended victims, they simply vanish with them. Victims only become aware of the trickery too late. In one such incident, a well-dressed young man outside Pep Store in the city centre approached a woman. “He asked me if I needed a job and I responded quickly that I needed it. He told me that he is working in Pep and is looking for new sales ladies urgently. He told me to leave my belongings with his friend because I would start work right away. When we entered Pep Store, the man told me to wait while he called the manager. I waited and waited until I asked a person who is working there if there are jobs available. When I went back to where I left my shopping, there was nothing.” In a separate incident, a government official lost N$11 000 during the festive season. He borrowed the money from a moneylender after he was approached by a group of people who claimed they could double the amount. But after they received the money, the group vanished with his money and they have not been traced. A spokesperson for the Windhoek City Police, Marx Hipandwa said the City Police is aware of these people and is in the process of preparing campaigns to educate the community about these practices. He appealed to residents to think twice to avoid being duped by these confidence tricksters taking advantage of innocent people. Several efforts to contact the regular police for comment were fruitless.