Port Elizabeth woman says she fell victim to a 'common' con at Greenacres

BY AFIKILE LUGUNYA - MAY 2, 2017
Port Elizabeth woman says she fell victim to a 'common' con at Greenacres

On the 27th of April, Amanda* a 27-year-old woman from Motherwell, could not believe her luck when a woman approached her at Shoprite, at the Greenacres Shopping Mall, in Port Elizabeth, and told her she could get her discounts of up to 50% 'discount' for everything she would buy that day.

Amanda, a mother of a one year old toddler, said that the woman found her in the children’s section trying to find a few things for her son.

“After taking nappies, milk, purity and other things for my child, a woman came to me and said that she was waiting for someone, who works at Shoprite, who would process her discounts,” she described.

Amanda said that the woman said that if she also wanted the discount all she had to do was to fill a trolley with everything that she wanted then leave it in the children's section where the 'cashier' would come collect it and process the 'discounts'.

"We would then have to wait outside by the Mr Price Clothing store and when the cashier was done, she would meet us there," she said.

Since Amanda had not met the said cashier, the woman called her and gave Amanda the phone.

“The woman called her friend to tell her about me and she gave me the phone. The other woman said that she was at the till and made me swear that I would not tell her Manager about this or else she would lose her job."

Amanda said she thought she could trust the women because they were women and they sounded genuine.

“As I was waiting by Mr Price with the woman, her friend came and explained that they do this occasionally when their boss is away. They made me swear again that I will never mention it to anyone,” Amanda explained.

“The other woman then instructed us to wait outside in the parking lot in a spot where there were no security guards - so we went.

“As we were waiting there, two more ladies came to join us and said that they had come from Mr Price."

They did not wait for too long.

"Before long, the lady I had met at Shoprite said that we must leave all our belongings with her and go to Shoprite to get my stuff and hers because everything was ready,” Amanda said.

“I couldn’t clearly understand what she was saying, but because I wanted this, I just followed her instructions."

Little did Amanda and the other three women know that they had just fallen victim to a well-planned con.

“As we were walking back to Shoprite, I realised that the three women did not know each other, although they had been talking like they did at the parking,” Amanda said.

That was when they decided to rush back to see if the woman was still there.

“After realising that they don’t know each other, I said let’s go back to the parking. When we arrived, the woman was gone.”

“We asked around but nobody had seen her - just like that, I lost my money, cellphone and some of the things that I bought before going to Shoprite,” she described.

 “A security guard told us that this was a common con at the Mall and he looked shocked to find out that we were victims of such common scam.”

The guard advised them to report the matter at the Mount Road Police station.

At the time of publishing, Amanda was waiting for her case number.

*Not her real name.
image courtesy of Foursquare