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Gangs that don’t spare those in mourning

Lang’ata.

A new form of con game targeting bereaved families is in town.

And the conmen are making a fortune.

It begins when a family places the announcement in the orbituary column of a newspaper and requests donations to be sent to a given number.

The family receives a call from a foreign line expressing sympathy.

The caller will then inform the relative that he or she has sent money to assist with the funeral and should be withdrawn from a specified bank account even if the none of the relatives holds an account with the bank.

Another caller claiming to be working with the bank will then inform the relatives that money has been deposited but even before arrangements can be made to withdraw the cash, someone else will call, claiming that extra money was sent which was meant to assist a colleague to the sender but who is stranded at the airport.

So convincing are the gang’s ways that a number of mourners have fallen victim when the caller persuades them to send money with the promise that it will be recovered from the money already in the bank.

“I was only able to detect the trick when the caller who had allegedly sent $500 (Sh42,250) condolence money from the US was unable to answer very simple questions about my brother who passed away recently,” said Ms Benedicta Kieti.

She added that the conmen have been successful on several occasions because of the confusion families find themselves in during the mourning period.

Unfortunately, though the conmen are too bad to be good, they are also too good to get caught.

Nairobi County Police Commandant Benson Kibue confirmed that complaints had been raised.

He appealed to anyone who has fallen victim to this dirty scheme to report to the nearest police station.