I recently saw a story on Facebook where people shared their experiences with being defrauded by people you wouldn’t suspect and I want to share one a friend of mine had about 10 years ago.
We were teens and we weren’t allowed to go out much business everyone saw us as too young. We didn’t believe that until that experience where we knew indeed, we were young and naive. My friend told me after 2 weeks what happened to him because I wasn’t there when it happened and it took over a year before we were able to tell his mum. We didn’t want to be stopped from going out.
We had saved some money up and one Saturday, we decided to go to the Madina market to do some shoe shopping. Men shoes are really expensive on this side of the map. We got to the market and we went around buying the stuff. Everything was in a backpack behind me and I decided to check out something on the other side of the market.
I called my friend when I was done but luckily, I met him at the bus station and he said his phone’s battery had died which was a normal thing, considering he didn’t buy it new in a box. We sat in the next available bus back home. We didn’t really chat on the way back home but unfortunately I didn’t notice anything strange about that.
We went to my place first because it was closer to the bus stop and I took my things home and gave him the bag to take his home. I asked him to bring it the next day which he obliged. Next day was a Sunday. I called and his phone was off and he didn’t come to church too. Met his mum at church who told me his son wasn’t feeling well.
For over a week, I couldn’t reach him on his number and o always had to call through his mums number. I decided to go and see him when he missed service the second Sunday and that’s when he decided to tell me the full story. I couldn’t help but laugh.
As he was waiting for me when I went to the other side of the market the day we went for the shopping, some two guys approached him asking for directions. They were well dressed and told him they were from a mining town and had come to Accra to sell some gold they have mined.
He showed them where to pick a bus and even gave them directions to a popular gold dealership in Accra. As a way of thanking him, they decided to give him some gold. Now this is where it gets interesting.
They showed him a glittering stone which he believed to be gold and wrapped it in a brown paper. They added that gold melts at the smell of fuel that’s why they had to wrap it so he wouldn’t loose it. Then they asked him a question.
Do you know why mobile phones are not allowed near fuel stations? He answered, “because the phone’s radiation could make it catch fire”. They parted him on the back and told him they had to put his phone in the wrapped gold foil so it can repel the effects of the fuel scent since he was going to take a bus home.
He gave them his phone and he saw them wrapped it in the brown paper with the gold. He was too elated about getting actual gold for just giving directions. We were still in high school by then. On our way home, I paid the fare since he paid on our way to the market.
He got home, entered his room and immediately started opening up the wrapper. He said there were more papers than he saw them use and whiles unwrapping, he noticed there were old newspapers that he never saw whiles they were wrapping. He became alarmed but managed to steady his hands just to finish the job. He unwrapped everything and it was empty. Not even a normal stone or his phone.
Just then, he decided to check his pocket and his wallet was nowhere to be found. He froze and felt like dying that instant. His heartbeat became irregular and he started getting angry with himself. He soon became hot and felt sick. He couldn’t believe he had been duped. He didn’t know how to tell anyone so just decided to let the sickness invade fully so he can just lie in bed and wallow in shame and humiliation.
That’s how my friend Kofi was duped in 2009 at the Madina market in broad daylight. Lucky for him, he had spent most of his money so there wasn’t much left in the wallet, but he still lost his phone.