Yesterday was one of the rare weekdays when I was home and the bell rang in the afternoon at around 2 pm. I was wondering who would have come at this hour and opened the door gingerly. There was a man standing who asked “Saab nahi hai?” A line that would work in almost all cases. All the houses have atleast one saab, no? He then said “The Saab” has asked him to do some repair work in the bathroom. For a second I was relieved that finally we managed to find a repairman for the pending work since weeks. But wait I hadn’t seen this repairman in any repairs that we had gotten done at our place and our owner clearly stated many times earlier our house problems while we are staying are our own and they can’t be of much help so he wont be sending any men for repair. Then it striked he was a conman!
On me saying I don’t know of any such repair to be done at our place, he tried many things like
- I have come all the way from Alandi. Insert any far off place. It will work
- Isn’t it A sir’s house. How difficult is it to get the owner’s name against the flat number from the society board
- He then pretended to call the saab. Asked me if the number was starting with 987… Again common starting number for Pune numbers.
- Fortunately I had the sense to not leave the door open and rush to get my cell and call.
- He then asked me if the owner is from Rajasthan. I can guess that too from the surname.
- And he finally left after that when I closed the door shut properly.
- A call to our owner confirmed my suspicion
I thought he was a conman because this reminded me of a similar incident with my Mom when we were kids. My mom didn’t fall for this because my Dad has always been communicative. He would have informed my Mom for sure if she was to expect to any repairman.
Just the same day when I read the news in the evening I read of three people losing gold in Pune to gold-polishing conmen. The oldest trick in the book for stealing gold and yet people fall for it(just like the Nigerian scam). Roof repair scams are pretty common too.
We need to be more careful who we let into our houses even if it is for repair. I know this sounds like a Savdhaan India/Crime Patrol tagline but I am going to saying it anyway
Stay Alert! Stay Safe!