Johannesburg - Syndicate robbers who posed as police officers and prophets targeted students in public places and convinced them that they were in imminent danger, warned Sunnyside police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela.
The ‘smooth talkers’ told unsuspecting students convincing stories that only led to the students losing their valuables. These students found themselves missing their smartphones, laptops, jewelery and money.
Mavimbela said although students were the most targeted members of the public, the general public was not exempt from the criminal trend.
“Since the schools reopened, Sunnyside police received several complaints from several college and university students following their interaction with the suspects. The latest incident involves a 19-year-old student who reportedly handed his R 3 600 to the suspects after he was made to believe that the cash he had saved at his residence could be blood money,”
The student boarded a car driven by his scammers and was transported to his residence. Upon arrival, he handed the money to the culprits for inspection. He was convinced that the money would be handed back to him in an envelope after it was cleansed. However, thee whole experience turned into a nightmare when he realised the enveloped handed back to him contained useless paper.
“Reports suggest that the type of stories that syndicates share with potential victims, change from time to time. We advise members of the public to reject any form of help called ‘blessings’. This includes prayers offered by unknown persons who approach them in public and later claim to know more about their misfortunes,”
Mavimbela advised the public to report any suspicious persons and cars responsible for illegal activities anonymously to Crime Stop on 0860010111 or via Crime Line SMS, 32211