Residents of Limuru are a perplexed lot following the emergence of mysterious group of defrauders.
The conmen are one-of-a-kind and are using peculiar techniques which can rival top-of-the-chart crime blockbuster series.
CAUSE FOR ALARM
Fraud is not a new concept in the vibrant town in Kiambu county, which is only few kilometres from Kenya's capital city.
But it is the puzzling incidents of residents who have been robbed - no, freely given out - their valuables to strangers in broad daylight, only to realize later when it is too late that is a cause for alarm.
It is little wonder then the normally welcoming, full of life residents, are now wary of greeting, let alone talking to strangers.
Nancy, a receptionist at a law firm, is incredulous when we visit her in her office.
She is still in denial that it actually happened to her!
These were things she has been reading on social media and brushed them off as mere chit chat.
"They were two men. It was in the afternoon and they wanted to deposit money and some legal documents including stamping. I calculated the cost which amounted to Sh30,000. They gave me the go ahead and paid in cash. I even counted the money a second time to ascertain it was the correct amount then put it in the cash drawer," she recalls.
How she snapped out the stupefaction minutes later and realized she had actually received Sh40,000 old bank notes, remains a mystery.
But it was too late as the two strangers had already disappeared.
SCHOOL FEES MONEY
Kagendo, a house help, is at pains to narrate how she lost her entire savings of more than Sh20,000, including her phone, when she met the defrauders at Limuru market.
She had been sent by her employer to purchase groceries when she met the two women, who seemed to have sprouted from nowhere, as she tells us.
They requested her for directions to a certain building in the area. Since she was also new in the area, she could not help them, but not before she got a sudden urge to go for her money.
"I called a boda boda rider who took me back home where I collected all the savings I had kept for the six months I had been working there. I returned to the market and strangely met the two women again. The next thing I remember I was sitting under a bridge staring, blankly with nothing, not even my phone," she narrates with tears welling up in her eyes.
For Jason, a second year student in a university in Nairobi, it was a normal day and he had it all figured out, or so he thought.
His plans for the day were going to school, paying school fees for the semester and preparing for his forthcoming end of semester exams.
All he remembers is encountering two women on his way to the stage who inquired for directions to a certain bank.
How he willing gave out Sh27,000 - money meant for his school fees - and his phone to the strangers is something he 'will narrate in his old age' as the locals say.
CASES OF FRAUD
Cases of fraud are not new in Limuru. The region has witnessed, time and again, fraudsters who use all methods including pregnant women, children, and people pretending to be serious ailing.
In June 2019, two young women were reported to be targeting motorists along the Limuru-Nairobi road by masquerading as sisters with one of them pretending to be epileptic while the other feigning to carry her while stopping vehicles for help.
In 2018, a trader lost more than Sh450,000 to a man masquerading as a priest from Benedictine Monastery, but who was in fact a con man targeting business operators in the area.
There have also been cases of young fraudsters pretending to be house girls who end up stealing valuables from their employers.
It is such incredibly bizarre cases which have left some people wondering what could actually be wrong with Limuru town.
Whatever it could be, it has been claimed that the cold and misty weather which the area is famed for, also offers a perfect hideout for the criminals.