By Memory Chamisa
WHILE the tobacco marketing season comes with huge financial rewards for farmers, it has also emerged that some of them are falling prey to con artists who are swindling them out of their hard-earned cash using the same old tricks.
The script is the same every season, only different characters audition for the scam.
“These tobacco farmers especially men are very dumb, they come here and try to act clever and are conned just last week one was sold a fake diamond and lost all the money. Honestly, diamond being sold in the street, the stupidity is too much. Sell your tobacco and go home,” said a woman at the floors.
While one would have thought that the past is a great teacher, Con artists continue to have a field day with tobacco farmers being robbed of their hard-earned cash using various persuasive ways.
“Fraudsters steal from these farmers using the same tactics, they throw money at them and in being convinced to share the money that’s where they are conned,” said a trader.
One farmer complained saying, “These con artists always come up with news ways of scamming us farmers’ maybe we are too old fashioned to understand how you town people work.”
However, some have learnt from the past with wives now accompanying their husbands to protect the wallet.
“We are now clever we now come with our husbands as they used to come and spend the money with these ladies of the night yet I would have suffered in the field growing and curing the tobacco,” said a wife.
Another farmer said, “I’m here with my new born baby to protect the wallet cause someone to just send the money that they would not have worked for is not fair at all.”
Whether it is a case of folly or the con artists being more sophisticated, the goings on at the tobacco auction floors never cease to amaze.