Nairobians Cautioned Over Conmen Thriving in CBD

The detectives in a statement indicated that it has received complaints from members of the public reported to have fallen victim to the syndicate conning residents in the capital.

Nairobians Cautioned Over Conmen Thriving in CBD

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Tuesday, May 11 warned Nairobi residents of a suspected fraud syndicate thriving in the Central Business District (CBD).

The detectives in a statement indicated that it has received complaints from members of the public reported to have fallen victim to the syndicate conning residents in the capital.

"The well organized syndicate consists of young men & women, who pose as sales agents of a renown mobile telecommunication company," DCI tweeted.

The detectives added that the criminals operate from an attached vehicle behind Kenya National Archives, along Tom Mboya Street, posing as genuine marketers of unreasonably cheap smartphones, iPads, tablets, and other flashy electronic products.

The criminals also unite to assist clients to upgrade their SIM cards to 5G. Once they have the full attention of an unsuspecting would-be buyer, they access the victim's mobile money transfer pin and other mobile banking details, after which they transfer money from the victims’ accounts to unknown accounts.

"Whereas detectives and general duty police officers have previously arrested the fraudsters after receiving complaints from victims, they (victims) hardly show up at the police stations or DCI offices to file formal reports, thus weakening the evidential aspect upon arraignment of the suspects," DCI observed.

"As such, we appeal to members of the public who may have been hoodwinked by the fraudsters to report at DCI Headquarters’ Serious Crime Unit, to formally report their experiences with the syndicate for necessary Police action to be initiated.," the sleuths urged.

A local daily reported in December 2020 of a man lured to participating in the infamous scratch-to-win deal, where his hunt for a new smartphone and tablets pulled him in.

A group of people had surrounded a van branded with pictures of all types of smart gadgets under a local telecommunications company, or so he was led to believe.

He tried his luck in the promotion which paid off as he  won 2 tablets, 2 phones, bluetooth earphones, a charger and a USB reader. However, to enable him keep his prizes, he was charged for each item which drained him off Ksh36,000.

He would open the expensive looking boxes only to find bootleg electronics estimated to be worth Ksh 4,000 in total.

The DCI's warning comes days after they warned Kenyan ladies on social media to be wary of a group of fraudsters mainly operating from Kiambu and Kisumu counties with the promise of a good life.

According to the detectives, the con artists pose as wealthy foreigners who prey on the ladies with the malign promises of quick riches and lure them to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to pick up expensive items.

Officers at JKIA noted with worry a rise in the number of young ladies who had gone to the airport to pick up the gifts, only to discover they had been swindled off their money.

Cases of online scams have been on the rise in Kenya with Kenyans reporting to have lost millions of shillings to fraudsters.