More ill people say they were victims of scamsters

2016-10-20 11:16
Police have asked victims to come forward and help identify the con artist.

Police have asked victims to come forward and help identify the con artist. (File)

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The woman alleged to be conning the ill out of their gold jewellery and other belongings has allegedly also targeted elderly victims as far away as Cool Air and Richmond.

Six people, all claiming to have fallen prey to the con, contacted The Witness after Wednesday’s front page story on Barbie Burger being conned by a woman selling pain relief patches. An elderly Richmond woman, suffering from chronic arthritis, said a woman who fitted the same description as Burger’s scamster used the same “trick”.

The woman said she had been discharged from hospital two weeks ago and the “thin woman with no teeth” arrived at her doorstep while she was recuperating. “She stood at the front gate and said she was selling machines that could help with arthritis. She was well spoken and well mannered and I let her in my home,” she said.

The Richmond woman did not want to be named, citing concerns over her safety. She said the woman told her to go into her room and lie on the bed so she could use the machine on her.

“She asked me to take off my gold bangles and she rubbed my hand. She attached a magnet-like thing to my hand and made me lie on my stomach on the bed,” she said.

The woman told her not to move and to always look straight ahead or close her eyes. “She massaged my shoulders and then told me the machine was not working and she needed to get another one from the bakkie outside,” she said. The woman said she continued to lie on her bed “for a while” before realising that the woman was not going to return. “As soon as I woke up I saw my cellphone and bangles were gone,” she said. She described the woman as “a little frightening” and “extremely thin”. “She also had a Muslim garb on. I don’t usually allow anyone in but she seemed so trustworthy and nice,” she said.

Another elderly woman living in a retirement village in Hilton fell victim to the scamster, who claimed to be selling blood pressure monitors. The woman was apparently allowed onto the property by the security guard after she said she was visiting someone. “She said she was visiting Mr Brown. I am not sure if she took a chance or whether she actually knew him but there is a Mr Brown living here,” said one of the village staff.

The part-time staff member did not want to be named as he did not have permission to speak to the media. He said the woman did not visit “Mr Brown” but instead found an elderly woman living alone. “She went to the elderly woman’s house and said she had a machine that could help those with high blood pressure.

“She tied a plain cord around this woman, apparently to reduce her blood pressure, and then made off with R2 000 and jewellery,” he said.

In Cool Air a woman was robbed of her cellphone and gold jewellery last month by a woman fitting the same description.

Police have urged all those scammed by the woman fitting the description to contact them urgently.

uMgungundlovu North Cluster spokesperson Sergeant Mtokozisi Ngobese said he had photographs of the suspect and wanted victims to come forward to identify her.

He said the profile and methods used by the con artist matched those of a woman who had previously been arrested for similar incidents.

“We have pictures of that woman and we suspect it is her doing these scams now,” Ngobese said.

One of the victims was able to identify the woman’s vehicle and its registration number. The Witness has since passed on the details of the vehicle to the police to help them track the scamster.

Those who have fallen victim are urged to contact Sergeant Mtokozisi Ngobese at 082 826 8954.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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