Be careful of who sees your home

2008-10-09 00:00

Homeowners are warned to be vigilant about who they allow on to their properties.

This comes after residents from the Montrose area received an e-mail from the area’s security committee warning them about two people suspected to be con artists and claiming to represent Msunduzi Municipality, who entered a house and took photos.

The e-mail says the man and woman in a red Hyundai Atos visited six houses on Tuesday. Each time they visited a house, they told different stories to try and get inside the houses.

“One [story] was that they were checking electricity; one to check the number of rooms for rates, or something to that effect; one to sign forms and one for security. They stopped at the guard hut and told the guard that they were looking for the park,” said the e-mail.

It added that the suspected con artists were let in to one of the houses and “had a good look around”. The owner, whose name is known to The Witness, said she allowed the woman into her house after she showed identification from the municipality. “She had a copy of the plan of the house … it looked very official.”

Strategic executive manager for infrastructure, facilities and services Phil Mashoko said these people might be con artists if they claimed they were from the electricity department. He said meter readers do not go inside people’s houses.

Strategic executive manager for corporate strategic planning, Nompumelelo Matobako, said the two suspected con artists could have been data collectors employed by a company tasked by the municipality to do the property re-evaluation to determine the market value of properties.

She said the data collectors are identifiable by their jackets, a cap and a name tag. She said they do view the interiors of the house and take photographs.

“The re-evaluation process will be completed by November. But homeowners are not forced to allow [data collectors] in. They should take their names down and tell them to come back after they have verified their authenticity,” said Matobako.

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