They will make you a 'custom made' offer you can't refuse before mugging you in broad daylight.
The city's snatcher gangs are getting smarter every year and are increasingly taking to impersonate customs officers offering 'imported' electronic merchandise at jaw-dropping discounts to lure college students to quiet corners before poking them with country-made weapons and mugging them.
"I was on my way to the Rajouri Garden Metro Station last Wednesday when two men on a scooter approached me and asked me whether I'd like to buy an imported phone for just R3,000. It seemed like a bargain, so I followed them to a side and asked them to show me the phone," said Kumar Gaurav (21), a final year student at Delhi University's Hansraj College.
According to Gaurav, the burly duo claimed to be junior Customs officers and told him that the phone was part of an inventory of items seized at the IGI Airport.
"I was checking the phone they had shown me when the pillion rider, who had had his eyes firmly fixed on passersby a minute ago, took out a gun and asked me hand over my phone and wallet," Gaurav said.
Vaibhav (21), who goes only by his first name and is a third year student at Shivaji College, experienced something similar recently. "I was about to pay for the phone when the man selling it to me suddenly said he'd changed his mind and tried to snatch my money,” he said.
Delhi Police officers say that though the modus operandi has existed for at least two years, there has been a sudden spurt in such incidents.
"We have been receiving similar complaints, mostly from students, every three or four months for at least a year now. But suddenly the number of complaints has gone up. More and more college students are being targeted now," said a senior police officer.
Police said these gangs had also changed their focus from campus areas to shopping malls and multiplexes.
V. Ranganathan, DCP (west) said, "Gaurav has already helped the local police draw a sketch of the persons who robbed him."