Con escapes with phone


Masiphumelele resident Miranda Boys is a sadder but wiser woman after a well-dressed man stole her phone while pretending to offer her and her friends work.

Ms Boys was cleaning the window of an estate agent in Simon’s Town when a “very smartly dressed” man confidently came up to her. He flashed what he said was his business card and said he was looking for women who could clean.

Ms Boys said she saw only a glimpse of the card and recognised the Pam Golding logo, but didn’t get to see the photo or name on the card. The man, identifying himself as Thabo, said he was a manager at Pam Golding. Pleased, she arranged to meet “Thabo” – a tall, slim man in his late 30s, dark complexioned with short hair – outside Pick * Pay in the Arcade, Fish Hoek, late morning on Tuesday last week (March 29) with her two friends who are looking for work.

“Thabo”, who said he was Sotho, suggested going to the restaurant and grandly ord-ered them cokes and juice. Then there was a bit of a confusing conversation when he said he needed to use Ms Boys’ phone to take photos of the women to make ID cards for their work and something about buying cellphone time. Ms Boys felt it was a bit odd he was using her phone for the photos, but, as she said, “We are desperate for work,” so she let him leave with her phone, a Samsung Galaxy A3.

And that was the last she saw of him.

Pam Golding Fish Hoek, which contacted the Echo about the incident, confirmed that no such man worked for their organisation and were trying to help Ms Boys at the time the Echo spoke to her.

Commenting on this incident, Warrant Officer Peter Middleton of Fish Hoek police, warned people to be suspicious if they were approached “out of the blue” by strangers offering something, jobs in-cluded. A common scam was people posing as recruiters. He advised never to give strangers anything, whether it was your ID number, bank card, money or phone without first verifying the person’s credentials.