Getting Scammed

One crazy thing about this country that I happen to be a citizen of, is that almost everyone outside your house (and probably inside of your house) are trying to make some money off of you and they don't care how they do it. And that is why when dealing with anyone, even with someone dressed as a priest, you have to be very careful and watchful or else you get duped.

Countless times I've heard stories of people who went to the market to buy phones for themselves and after they're shown the phone and it's packaged, when they get home, they open the pack only to find some other piece of trash inside the pack. And the crazy thing is that when you go back to return the phone, you will never meet the same guy who first sold you the phone at the shop. It's going to be a completely different person who will swear on the lives of his kids and that is if he has any (which in most cases they don't), that they don't know who you're talking about and that they and they only own the shop. Then you end up walking back home with the trash that was wrapped for you.

Luckily for me, I've only heard this things as stories and never really experienced one myself, well that was until I and my friends decided to go to the market to buy some leather flip-flops also known as leather pams. That day, we had all gone to the market to get pams and nothing else but when we got then, I sold some really cool glasses and decided to get one for myself while my friends got themselves some lovely pams.

Photo by LumenSoft Technologies

When I was done trying on the glasses and paying for it, I went to join them at the store where they were purchasing the pam and just as I got there, I heard one of my friends negotiating price with the man who was selling on how much it would cost to add pins to the pam. For those of you who don't know what pins are, pins are those tiny metals like looks like nails that you fix on your leather pam in other to avoid it getting spoiled quickly.

Now during the negotiation, they both agreed on fifty naira per pin. So if he was going to put eight pins on both pams, it was going to be around four hundred naira. This was the agreement and I was a live witness because the whole thing happened right in my presence. But just as the man was done placing the pin in one of the pams, the whole story changed. All of a sudden each price of the pin changed and one now cost two hundred naira, that was like times four of the initial price.

When he said this, we were all shocked and thought that maybe a miscommunication had happened somewhere during the negotiation (because the man wasn't fluent in English) and he must had misunderstood us. But the man remained adamant and at one time even threatened to stab us with his tools, that was when another man asked what happened and we explained to him. So he asked us to give him the money we had on us (which was more than we were suppose to pay but lesser than the first man was asking for) so we did.

To me, I felt like we escaped some real trouble there but not until we got home and I explained everything to my brother and that was when he told me that we were scammed. He said the same thing happened to him too and that these men do this things on purpose. He also said the man who had called us, pretending to want to resolve the issue was also working with the first man and that that was their way of getting paid higher than the normal speculated price.

The whole thing got me furious but there was nothing I could do. It was all an experience, one that would never repeat itself.