Small businesses have become easy targets for conmen in Chinhoyi, as several have fallen victims after being robbed of their stock by con artists.
Recently, five victims have fallen prey to the daring con artists who are posing as business people on a tourism vacation holiday in the province.
In an interview, one of the victims explained how she was lured by the woman who spent
half the day with her, pretending to have pure intentions of investing in his supermarket, as she was very observant and always on the phone, calling what she calls her business consultant, before she asked for international facilitating fees and dumped the woman for 2k USD.
Small to medium business enterprises are mostly targeted by these scams, which use different stories to lure their victims into offering business deals, investing capital, tax clearance, and exchange programs for counterfeit United States dollars.
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One victim Mrs. Shellywood said the scammers were a couple pretending to be God-fearing Christians going through a dilemma of what to invest in before they lured her into a bogus deal and dumped her 400 USD unsuspectedly, leaving her holding counterfeits. They vanished into thin air, and she never heard from the couple again.
The second victim, Marlin Manyike, who is into street vending, was approached by a woman.
who appeared to be running away from an abusive relationship, but she had stolen many on the way and was willing to give them away to anyone who helped her. Then Marlin took the bait and gave her 300 counterfeit dollars for helping, but later realized that it was fake money and all his stock and 120 dollars were nowhere to be found.
A petrol attendant along Magamba Way was also conned by the couple who fronted as supervisors from the international body, speaking English with a Russian accent, and he bribed them 250 USD for an international promotion and later realized that he was conned.
Another victim was robbed of fleece throws and change worth seventy-five dollars by four men in a blue Honda Fit vehicle. They bought some items worth $25 from her with a fake $100 note, and she gave them $75 change.
When she realized the money was fake, she called out for help because the men were already driving off. Her neighbor played the hero and followed the car until they reached an area, then the men stopped the car, got out, pointed a gun at him, and ordered him to drive back home if he still valued his
The same car, with the same men, again robbed another woman in Coldstream. They
took airtime worth $20, cigarettes, and snacks.
They paid with a fake $100 note, and upon looking for change, that is when she was
told that the money was a fake, but the men had already left.
However, according to the West Provincial Police spokesperson, nothing had been brought to them.
attention, and the police cannot act upon what has not been presented, but they urged residents not to trust easily, as they can be conned by these canning con-artists.
An awareness campaign is being launched by the police, and it ensures that it will leave no stone unturned in finding the victims.
The victims said reporting to the police is taking longer as more and more people become victims, and no suspect has been brought to book.
Local business stakeholders plead with the police to speed up their reaction as their businesses are under threat from these canning thieves.