Uganda Today: It is 10:30 Sunday July 9th 2023, while walking on the left hand side, along Bhahai road from Kisaasi towards Kanyanya, just after Kampala Nursery School, on the right hand side, there’s an empty plot partly encased in a perimeter wall.
At the edge of this empty plot with grown bushes, a well built up man (must be in his forties) stands in a posture of zipping up trousers after taking a short call. I later came to realise that this was an acted posture to properly study and ensnare any unsuspecting victim in possession of a phone, while walking on his opposite side so as to rip them off.
A 58 year old man with a characteristic of freely talking to strangers, I become a target of this conman, on walking passed my view of him, he darts and crosses the road to my side. Behind me I hear him calling out Boda, in a bid to stop the Boda man (fellow conman) to take him on his journey. The Boda man, pretends not to have heard the call, he continues to ride his bike passed the two of us. Holding a khaki small envelope vertically folded,the conman starts a conversation with me by saying “kale laba bano aba Boda, bamala gavuga, asudde envelope ye eno,naye muyita tafaayo, muleke kandabe ekirimu. Katonda wange hmmm, sente”. (See this typical reckless Boda rider, he inadvertently dropped this envelope but am calling him to stop to no avail, let me see what it contains, Oh my God money!). Can you imagine, he continues in Luganda, when I saw it dropping I crossed to this side so that I stop him and give it to him.
Having picked conversation with me, the conman suspected that I was a church goer returning home, so he crafts out a conversation bordering to Christianity. I was holding an A4 khaki envelope, so he continues with his conversation, reaching out to gently hold my right hand, he says the christian values in me, I wouldn’t look on, see other people pick this Boda man’s envelope and walk way without surrendering it to him, yet you had not noticed. I will give it to him but ask for a reward which we shall share. At this moment, I realised he was a conman but I decided to play ball. He says, keep quite and let’s see what he does.
In view of a stone’s throw away from us, with my stupid conman, the fellow con Boda man stops, and in a bewildered manner starts searching his pockets, holds both his hands on the head and takes a glimpse behind, he realises that their victim is already entrapped and holding hands with the accomplice. He turns his bike, rides passed us and stops a few metres behind us, turns again to follow us speedily and stops to ask whether we had seen a khaki envelope drop.
Stealthily and gently stepping on my toes, the conman starts by asking me to chip in, you see we are strangers to you, am waking with Taata (Luganda title for a father), he has his envelope, let him show you what it contains, I show the con-men what my envelope contained, he asks his accomplice, you have seen, is that yours? Trembling like a child caught by a mother scooping sugar, the Boda man says , please help, mine contained 2.5m , it isn’t my money it for my boss at the hard ware shop there at Kanyanya. The stupid conman retorts, for us we are old people, we have our money, I also have money. Which notes did your envelope contain? Boda conman with that tremble of bewilderment, answers 50,000 notes.
The conman reaches out for my phone, but I hesitate a bit to surrender it, he convincingly, says, no, lets show him that we have our money even on mobile money wallet. He cunningly asks me how much I had on my Airtel mobile account? I replied that I had some money on the account, out of my view, he fumbles to initiate an Airtel withdraw transaction on my phone but fails because of the secret pattern. He reaches out to me to remove it, remember i am playing along, he initiates and again asks me to read PIN , I read a wrong PIN. He instantly says this is a wrong PIN and asks me whether he should sympathise with the ‘Boda man’ and give him the money but on condition that he rewards “us” with 300,000 out of the 2.5m. The Boda man agrees to take the “good Samaritan” to his boss so that he gets our reward cut, and again takes him to his journey as he commands me to wait there for their return.! Aborted deal.
The above was a real life experience the author encountered, thus he intentionally wanted to use it as a lesson to all our readers NEVER to give out their PIN to strangers and Never to give audience to strangers. Conmen design out different scenarios in order to cheat unsuspecting public.