A recent spot-check by The Nairobian team reveals rising cases of young male boy toys posing as businessmen who are pouncing on unsuspecting corporate and business women tricking them to invest in lucrative business deals before conning them of money and property.
Fancy suits, sweet scents, convincing tongues, sex and fake lifestyles have allegedly been on the rise in Nairobi as flashy young men lure the women before conning them of their earnings.
The men are said to be hawk-eyed in identifying their victims after which they approach them posing as city businessmen who have won tenders with different organisations and are looking for ready financiers whom they promise to split the profit with.
Unknown to the ladies, the men offer irresistible margins to the financers which are refunded in a matter of weeks. The culprits target victims within the labour market who will have easy access to the required funds within days.
Upon receiving the amounts, they will pretend to commence delivery of the products before returning with the borrowed amount topped up with the agreed-upon profits in days.
Various individuals have reported to different police stations alleging to have fallen victim to the scam involving cash and property with fake documents. In one instance, a victim reported at a Kiambu police station and the suspect was arrested and charged in a Kiambu court a fortnight ago.
The victim, Jackline (not her real name), who works at a city casino but sought anonymity to protect her job, claims the men are calculating smooth talkers who disguise themselves as high-fliers.
“When I first met him, he came across as a very shrewd and well-connected businessman who rubs shoulders with the who-is-who in high circles dealing with supplies for various renowned companies and huge tenders,” she says. “He gave me different lucrative offers for supplies to different clients which I blindly fell for. Little did I know I was falling into his trap.”
The lady ended up losing her piece of land and her car was auctioned to pay the amounts.
In yet another case, a divorced mother of two was convinced to approach her close friend working at a multi-national organisation.
“I was going low on finances but he approached me with a lucrative offer to supply cartridges to the airport and requested to rope in my friend in the deal promising good returns in a matter of days. Upon further convincing, Sh900,000 was wired to his account but weeks later, he was nowhere to be found. The deal nearly made me become enemies with my friend who accused me of duping her into a dubious deal,” she said.
Before she knew it, her debt had accumulated to an excess of Sh2 million.
The man would come with all sorts of lies including delayed payments from suppliers. Consequently, she was put behind bars for failing to pay the debt.
“This almost cost our friendship. I was lucky my family bailed me out with a promise that I would incur the loss and pay up the money owed,” she said. According to our investigations and responses from several victims, most of these imposters target single mothers, separated or divorced women working with top firms.
“They make sure that the lady preyed on doesn’t have a male companion and is lonely but with a need for making extra cash. They will then turn into their toy boys who gift them sexual pleasure with a promise of a better future life together. On making small profits, they will split the spoils and make the transaction seem genuine,” says Israel Omatch, an officer at Hurlingham police post.
However, they will take off once the deal funds get high. “It’s a matter of blinding you when the deal is too good.”
In the just released Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, a third of households in Kenya are headed by women due to separation or divorce.
Women in this category falling in the age gap of between 30 to 49 years engage in business besides being active in employment or are nearing retirement with an appetite to make more money. A lot of the women in this category have access to loans or wish to capitalise on their life savings.
“We have had ladies who have lost personal property like land, houses and motor vehicles. The complaints are rampant,” said Omatch.
According to relationship consultant Nancy Mwikali, women at that age are in a place where they have acquired a passion for business and remaining relevant, and are willing to do business financing, especially during these economic hardships.
“They have a sense of stability, are comfortable and feel a sense of security especially if they are lured to fall in a romantic place. Their gullibility blinds them into not seeing the red flags,” she opines.
Just recently, a magistrate Milimani law courts gave a last chance to a man charged with forging a title deed and obtaining merchandise to pursue an out-of-court settlement with the complainant.
The man, labelled as a notorious fraudster, had appeared in Court for the hearing of his fraud case of obtaining six Samsung and two iPhone 13 Pro Max phones all valued at Sh1.2 million which he had promised to supply to the staff of an international organisation he had claimed to work for.
However, his defence lawyer asked the court to grant an adjournment for the case stating that the accused person has indicated his intention to pursue an out-of-court settlement.
According to Mwikali, women should be wary of getting into such dealings blindly as more and more are struggling with depression after losing their life savings.
“One of my clients lost all her property even after the man moved into her apartment together with his teenage children from a separate union despite his kids trying to save her by telling her that their dad was not in the flower export business which he claimed was struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“He is now nowhere to be seen and has already sold all the property he’d acquired from the lady.”
Well, if the deal is too good, think twice; the search for money and love notwithstanding. Otherwise, you will be funding a con artist who will quickly move to the next victim as he enjoys a lavish lifestyle using your hard-earned millions.