5 Ways You Can be Conned on Nairobi Streets

  • Unsuspecting Nairobi residents have been victims of many conmen on the streets. Being gullible and trusting can make one an easy target as cons can easily sense naivety.

    At one time or another, you may have fallen prey to one of the many cons roaming Nairobi streets. 

    Here are some of the common cons on the streets of Nairobi.

    1. Cheap fake phones

    Walking in a busy street mostly in the downtown area, you may notice a shady looking individual who will propose to sell you a classy mobile phone at a ridiculously low price. He will show it you suspiciously and not really let you touch it.

    In the event you buy the phone and believe you just bagged the best deal of your life, check the phone again because it could probably be just an empty shell.

    2. Fake Scratch cards

    How to spot them? Young men and women will approach you in town especially around the Odeon bus terminus next to a minivan that allegedly has the goodies that you may win after scratching the card.

    Incase you fall for the initial “Scratch and win incredible prices”, you will be handed over to the price verifier who will be hot on your heels to spend some money for a bigger offer and that's when you get hooked.

    You might then end up using more money to purchase items that are not worth your money.

    3. Lucrative job opportunities

    Adverts of enticing opportunities are placed strategically in areas with heavy traffic, especially at Odeon and Kencom bus stages.

    For some, after applying, you are asked to deposit a small amount of money to secure the job.

    When desperate for employment, many fall prey to the scam while in other scenarios, they ambush unsuspecting individuals and ask them to pay to be called for an interview.

    4. Spoilt fruit

    Cheap fruits are a norm on the streets of Nairobi. A majority of the vegetables are fresh but there are some that require a keen eye.

    These are rejected and almost stale fruit from the markets that are hawked at such unbelievably low prices.

    5. Pata potea/ gambling

    As the name suggests, “pata potea (gambling)” is a trick used to steal from unsuspecting victims where you can win money as fast as you can lose it.

    Literally, it is the oldest trick in the book and on the streets, these gambling masters have a way of getting the better of the people’s greed for quick money.

    The stage is perfectly set to lure a curious onlooker with actors setting the background convincingly to encourage one to play.

    One person, preferably a woman, will win and encourage others to place bets as well. This con is a common back story for any new person in the city not aware of the tricks.

    There you have, beware of the cons and protect yourself from the lurking dangers on the street of Nairobi.