Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Goans being fleeced regularly

It has j0287591become a painful story every second day in the newspapers. Conmen and tricksters have mingled in the Goan populace quite d readfully for comfort. The newspapers report everyday about helpless Goans being fleeced by various fraudsters in the open streets in broad daylight and there seems to be no end to the menace despite its alarming regularity.

The latest victim in the regular plot of conmen was an eighty year old businessman M Z ABIDEEN, a resident of Margao who was robbed of cash amounting to Rs 3.37 lakh after a conman tricked him into parting with his bag containing the entire amount. The incident occurred near the Central bank in Margao on Tuesday 13th January 2009, in the morning according to police.

The trickster apparently tricked Mr Abideen by distracting his attention towards something on the back of his shirt and therebj0287504y fled with his  bag. The incident occurred metres away from the Margao police station where the victim lodged a complaint.

Such incidents are happening in Goa on a very regular basis and there are various modus operandi's that these tricksters use to reach their goal. Goans should therefore be aware of the following methods and the possible ways to avert losing their belongings.

(1) Plot No 1: The 10 rupee gang - a person approaches you as you alight out of your car or while walking on the road and tells you that your 10 rupee notes have fallen all over the ground. There are actually some 10 rupee notes fallen. But they belong to the  fraudster who has sprayed them there to distract you. The moment you are busy collecting the fallen notes, somebody else enters your car and relieves you of something much valuable. By the time you have realised it, you are left with 20 notes of 10 rupees and relieved of thousands of notes worth probably lakhs.

Remedy: Do not show any greediness for those 10 rupee notes. THINK HARD. You never had so many notes in your pocket. They are not yours. So if somebody asks you to pick up notes which are fallen just raise an alarm and help the fraudster in a thrashing.

(2) Plot No 2: Conmen as Cops -  You will suddenly find one or two men j0290865masquerading as cops accosting you and making all sorts of enquiries about you suddenly in the middle of the street , road, highway or village. They frighten you after quoting some false restrictions apparently imposed by the government. Further, they implore you to remove all your jewellery and cash and put it in a hand kerchief and hand it over to them so that you are safe from thieves. By the time you have blinked, they are gone. Cops? No buddy they are rogue fraudsters.

Remedy: Anybody approaches you, seek their identity. If they scare you with the police uniform call the police station number( 100) from your mobile or from a coin box nearby. Dont fall for any of their worthless talk. Remember you are innocent and are being framed just to fleece you. Raise an alarm and draw the attention of passersby and hand these men over to the real cops.

(3) Plot No 3: Helpers in a bank - You have just withdrawn cash and somebody offers to help you or ask your pen or strike a juicy conversation which eventually ends up in you handing over your bag full of cash to him under some pretext of the other and left busy in helping him write his pay slip by which time he has already boarded a bus to get his next victim

Remedy: Remember anytime you have cash in your hand you need to be extra careful. talk to no one except people whom you know and trust. Decline your pen or cut conversations with anyone. Your politeness and overflowing love can wait for another day. Today with a bag of cash in your hand you are a lamb in the eyes of some greedy vulture. Keep away from strangers and their needless advice. Shut up, hold your bag tight and if attacked raise an alarm instantly.

(4) Plot No 4 : Shop Gang - Four or five people enter a shop. part of the team is a woman which makes them look like a legible family shopping team. One member strikes a conversation with the sales guy and the other keeps another sales guy busy. the third one is busy handling the products and the fourth is looking out for any predators who may be watching. The third leaves with the booty and the fourth follows . the fourth and the fifth make the discussion juicy and then are the last to leave, promising to be back soon. All four are heading for a party.

remedy: Do not keep demonstration items in full public control. Sales staff ought to be vigilant when more than two people enter a shop. Raise an alarm as soon as there is suspicion. It wont cost you anything

(5) Plot No 5: Jewellery hunters : Conmen enter a jewellery store and after checking out various items relieve the owner of some items by distracting his attention. Second mode is they often come to the shop masquerading as influential businessmen or naval officers and buy many jewellery items paying cash. When they come next time they hatch a plan. They select a variety of items and seek the shopkeepers help in escorting his person with them to collect the cash from their home. They carry the items and then leave the escort in the car and flee away. The car is later found to be a stolen one.

Remedy : DO not trust anyone just becasue he made a genuine purchase before. Crooks are lurking to find stupid greedy shopkeepers who want to make business at a high risk.

Despite over 50 odd cases of above fraudulent means the government of Goa has done very little to nab the culprits or appropriately secure citizens from this menace. There have been no directives to citizens to follow, nor guidelines to adhere on this issue and Goans have to hope for good luck to save themselves. Goa is therefore turning out to be a delightful venue for all treacherous frauds.


Xittuk Goencar

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