The trickster takes on the garb of a cooking gas agency technician, well dressed, ID card hanging round her neck and clutching a bag which appears like a tool-kit bag.
The woman appears at your door, saying that the current rules need gas cylinder customers to allow mandatory checks of the cylinders, the connecting tube and the stove. The woman talks smoothly, is not pushy and even offers simple ways to get the job done in a jiffy – so you relent.
Often, she will tell you the burners need attention. And that if the small changes aren’t carried out quickly, customers may not get their next supply of cooking gas.
You are told you need small accessories, that can be sourced easily – the cost is small but you need to also pay a cash deposit. And if you are too busy or your movement is restricted, the woman will do it for you.
If you are taken in by the smooth talk, she collects the cash – in the Alwarpet case it was over Rs.7000, gives you a strange receipt if you ask for it and is off, with the promise of the accessory reaching you in 24 hours.
That is the last you have seen of this woman. Her con-job has been successful.
The Muthukrishnans later realised that the woman was convincing, seemed to know a bit about the residents and asked questions like – Have you installed CCCTVs? Are you just the two living here?
As the con story spread among people the Muthukrishnans know, a few people said that this con-job has been having a long life now. And many people have been tricked.
The Muthukrishnans reported the crime to the local police who came by, had a talk and registered a case.