Beware: shopkeeper fraud at motorway stop

motorway scam

ISLAMABAD: For those who travel in and out of Islamabad, a quick motorway service stop at Sial Rest Area could lead to you getting scammed in the most elaborate way.

In an extensive thread on X (formerly Twitter), user @iHassanDastgir detailed his customer service experience at the Mart/Bar B Q area.

The scam involved one of the shopkeepers asking Hassan for a Rs5000 note when he made a small purchase, saying he would return it to him in change.

When he noticed the change was short and confronted the shopkeeper, the man feigned obliviousness. He then made “some hand tricks”, pretending to add the remaining change before handing the money back to his customer.

The money was still short, but Hassan was running out of time as the bus only makes a stop for 15 minutes. Then another man, who was acting as a bystander, told Hassan that he may have seen a women with a child pick up some cash off the floor. He said they had most likely returned to their bus.

Amidst the confusion, Hassan momentarily fell for the gaslighting and believed it was his own mistake. He decided it was not worth the hassle and returned to his bus.

However, the story does not end here. Hassan returned to the shop on another occasion and this time witnessed another customer getting scammed in the exact same way. This time Hassan was able to avoid the fraud when the shopkeeper, not recognising his former customer, asked him again for a Rs5000 note.

Commenters on the thread reported going through the same ordeal at this location.

“I personally experienced this,” affirmed a tweeter. When they ask for this amount, understand that its an attempt to scam you, he cautioned.


“I thought it’s just a one-off thing,” another commenter said, recounting a similar scenario.

Another person confirmed they had even written a complains, but to no avail.

While Islamabad Police is yet to look into this, travelers may want to remain cautious when making purchases at the rest area.

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