Yesterday, was the saddest day in the life of a friend of mine. Life thought him a valuable lesson that “all that glitters is not gold”.
After a boring day, we decided to seek refuge at Shoprite in Accra Mall to buy some drinks and also do some window shopping. On our way back, we met a guy in the middle of the road trying to hoard an item.
Honestly, when he approached us I didn’t even want to hear what he had to say because I had heard a lot about these confidence tricksters – how they manipulate people into buying fake goods – so I walked away only to turn back and realize that my friend was actually chatting with him.
He was so curious to know more about what the guy was trying to sell to us. The guy who was in a black shirt - white stripped, with black trousers and black boots, fairly tall with bushy hair – was trying to sell an iPhone 11 Pro Max. According to the guy, he was in dire need of money and would take any price for the phone.
I wasn’t really comfortable even standing close to him so we told him we had no money on us. He saw my friend’s fairly used iPhone X and suggested that he would give him the iPhone 11 Pro Max if he was willing to give him his phone and add an additional amount of GHc1000 to it.
That indeed was music to my friend’s ears and I could only imagine what was going through his mind at that moment. His iPhone 4s recently had a cracked back and he was contemplating on how to fix it, so to him, that opportunity was one in a million chance to get rid of it and also own his dream phone.
He told me an iPhone 11 Pro Max will cost him more than about GHc2400 and so he was willing to bargain with this guy for it.
We moved from the middle of the road to the other side to talk more – at this moment I knew things were about to get tricky. My friend asked to see the contents of the phone to see if the guy was not about to sell him a fake product since according to him, the deal was too good to be true. He browsed through the phone three times – checked that it had no suspicious iCloud account and everything was genuine. He asked the guy how he managed to get the phone and he told him he had just stolen it from someone in a car.
That’s when I realized we were dealing with a thief so I told my friend to make up his mind already because I wasn’t feeling comfortable and we were also wasting too much time on the guy.
He asked me for my opinion and I told him that I don’t really trust these guys and I mostly walk away from them and if it were to be me and I had no problem using my old phone, I will see no reason to swap it for a higher version no matter how tempting these guys made it seem like.
He then asked me for GHc200 – I gave him the money and moved away from them since I told him it was up to him now and didn’t want anything to do with it anymore.
I could see them exchanging phones and then inserting SIM cards to verify if indeed the phone could make calls too.
After a while he came and we decided to go back to school. After we alighted the first question I asked him was “are you sure the phone is in your pocket” – he proudly touched his pocket and replied “oh yes, it is”. He decided to turn the phone on and that was the beginning of his misery. I noticed the phone the guy had given him had a cracked screen but the one he was bargaining with didn’t. He tried several times to turn on the phone but to no avail – the guy had duped him with a fake iPhone 11 Pro Max. He had lost an iPhone X and an amount of GHc1000 for a useless iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The trickster’s tactics and how he succeeded
First of all he made it seem like he needed money badly and the phone had no value to him at that moment. Secondly according to my friend he took the phone from him, put it in his pocket and cunningly brought out the fake one which was very similar and kept it in my friend’s pocket, advising him not to take it out to draw attention since someone else could attack him and take it from him -- iPhone 11 Pro Max are in high demand on the market by the way. Thirdly, the guy was receiving a lot of phone calls on the cell he was trying to sell – we should have realized that wasnt his actual phone he was trying to dupe us with, but when we questioned him he said only the SIM card belonged to him.
My final words.
Ladies and Gentlemen, when you’re walking on the street and any one chases you with any valuables – be it phones, jewelries, laptops and asks you to bring any amount for it – please, kindly walk away from them to avoid regretting it later. If you want to swap an old item for a new one, there are shops in Accra, notably in Circle who deals in such stuffs and the advantage is, you can walk to them anytime when you find fault with it. Never deal with any individual by the road side, they’re confidence tricksters and once they dupe you they leave that spot for a while and choose a different location so you can never find them. Luckily for my friend he still had his iCloud account intact on his phone and among iPhones numerous features is the ability to lock your phone from anywhere once you can get access to your iCloud account. So I helped him to access the account and lock the phone online – it will cost the guy at least GHc2000 to fix it.
If you’ve had any experience with a confidence trickster, you can share it with us and if there is anything you would like to know more about you can comment below at the comment box section thanks!
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