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FRESH METHODS: How People are Getting Conned in Nairobi

Nairobi has Nairobbery as its second name since then for theft and conning cases practiced by criminals against innocent and unsuspecting people. We have learned many con methods such as pickpocketing, robbery at gunpoint, misdirection and many others but there are two fresh methods used by street people and pastors. Yes, I said pastors.

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Method One: Memory Loss Touch

In the past and around 2014 when I was still in college, my classmate Purity was conned through drugging. This method, often used by Kamba people (I am honestly not being tribal) entails shaking someone’s hand from which you blackout and by the time you realize, you have nothing left of your personal belongings. This new drugging method does not require greetings. On the contrary, all the con need is to touch part of your skin and you lose consciousness. It goes like this, a person will approach you asking for direction or any other enquiry. If you respond, or give them your attention, you fall to their trap. The con will touch part of your skin without your knowledge and you will immediately blackout. Once they trap your mind with these drugs, you will willingly give the your phone, money, and all personal belongings you have.

To the public, you are conversing with a well-known person to you because you are not forced to give them your belongings. Therefore, no one will suspect that you are being robbed, you will not be rescued. Once the con has everything they need, you will be left at one area and recover your consciousness minutes later. People who are conned sing this method have reported incidences of not remembering what happens between meeting the con and when they recover their memories. ADVICE: DO NOT TALK TO STRANGERS, DO NOT OFFER HELP! LET ANYONE NEEDING HELP CONTACT MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL OR POLICE.

Method 2: Pastor-Member Collaboration

To adequately give you the best picture of this formular, I will tell you a case of my friend who was conned by a pastor and his church member. My friend, lets call her Pinky (not her real name) who has a brother (Jessy) not his real name. Pinky lives in one of the Nairobi outskirts and has a brother who is currently in high school. Pinky is an orphan but has potential to educate her brother in a boarding school. One day, Jessy, the brother gets ill and over-the counter drugs are not working for them. This sickness, which I cannot mention for privacy purposes goes on for over three weeks and Jessy cannot return to school.

The Targeting

While Pinky is in her frequent salon, she is advised by one woman to take her brother for church prayers by her trusted pastor. Pinky is now desperate and want so resolve her brother’s condition asap, so she agrees to visit for prayers. When she and her brother were taken to the pastor, she was called aside and asked to ksh. 8000 for the prophetic prayer which will cure her brother Jessy. Pinky claims to have no such kind of money and is asked for a lesser amount. The bargain saw her agreeing to borrow money to pay the pastor before prayers. The woman who took them to the pastor, who is also an ally and church member of this pastors offers Pinky to lend her ksh. 2000 to add to ksh. 1000 she had in cash and give to pastor for prayers. What a friend in need, right? Pinky thought of this woman, so she accepted the offer. After paying for the expensive prayer and having it, Pinky and Jessy left the church while leaving this woman behind. Hours passed and Jessy was still ill, his condition had not changed.


On the same fateful night, the good Samaritan, the church woman calls Pinky demanding the money she borrowed. She says that she just got an emergency and need the money to resolve it. Pinky, having no money at hand and her brother’s condition worsening felt so confused and helpless. She told the woman that she had no money at the moment but would pay later upon finding some. Suddenly, “the woman became aggressive and furiously demanded that I should borrow money elsewhere to immediately pay her back!” says Pinky. Pinky had no otherwise but borrow money to pay the woman because, (kula ni kulipa), right? Pinky had to take her brother to hospital for more detailed checkup upon which he was treated and went back to school. Bottom line: CHUCH MEMBERS ARE CONIVING WITH THEIR PASTORS TO CON UNSUSPECTING VICTIMS. BE WARE!

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