According to the Department of Security Services, most of the incidents occur on Festival Street and on the corner of Prospect and Grosvenor Streets. Lesedi Lamola, a BSocial Work student, told Perdeby that she fell victim to the scam while walking down Arcadia Street. Lamola said that she was approached by a man asking her for directions. The man told her that he was a prophet and was looking for a woman for whom he had performed “prophetic duties”. While the two were talking, a third man joined them. The first man told Lamola that he had foreseen that she would have been hit by a car if he had not met her . He also said that her phone was possessed and that her money needed to be cleansed. He asked her to hand over her phone and her laptop and to withdraw all the money from her account, which she did.

Lamola was then told by the two men to  run as fast as she could to a bus stop two streets away, where she was told to pray. “I did that and as I opened my eyes, they were gone,” she said.

Security Services told Perdeby of another con which involves criminals approaching students and telling them that they work for cosmetics company Avon. They offer the students money to help them with “stock take” but ask that they hand over their cell phone, laptop, tablet and wallet while they are working with the products.

A second criminal then joins the pair and agrees to hand over his belongings. When the victim hands the items over, the criminals disappear.

Report cases to security and the SAPS.

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