PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Manfred Phesto
 
Comments: 19
Article views: 3918
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Manfred Phesto's badges.
 

Cape Town "Emergency" Street Numbers Scam

15 April 2014, 10:53
Yesterday I had an encounter with a con-artist. I have posted this story for the simple reason that this scam has not (as far as I can tell) been documented in this country before. When I searched for information on it, I found examples from other countries, but none from South Africa. 

The scam works as follows: he rings your doorbell and claims to be a representative of a company performing the admirable and useful service of re-painting the so-called "emergency numbers" on the pavement outside your property. This is, in fact, on council property - and the property owner/occupant has no responsibility for its maintenance. 

For this service, he charges R150 - which is in and of itself ridiculous given the amount of time and paint required. He claimed the paint was "special water-resistant paint".

In any event, he painted several numbers along my street and fleeced the residents without a problem - until he got to me.

He also painted the number outside my property, and when he rang the bell to claim his fee, I asked him who he worked for. He could not / would not tell me. I asked him his name, which he likewise refused to provide. I asked him for any form of identification whatsoever. He had none.

The one and only piece of evidence he was able to provide was a laminated photo of a street number he had apparently restored. He could provide me with nothing else, other than the fact that he had performed this service for several of my neighbours and also the former occupants of my home. 

Naturally, this aroused my suspicions - and a certain, shall we say, righteous fury. I rushed out with a trusted associate of mine and took his photo and one of his number plate. I then called the police - who responded promptly. Strangely enough, the man stuck around - which fact I presume was due to two key factors. Firstly, he was happily fleecing the whole street with not the slightest opposition, and secondly, although his actions were decidedly sketchy, there was nothing absolutely illegal about them (aside, perhaps, from vanadalizing city property).

He claimed to have permission from council to provide the service - but could provide no evidence to support this claim. I asked him - in front of the officers - what his name was (he mumbled something which sounded like "Ken" or "Kev"), and the name of his firm. I asked him if he was registered for VAT. I asked him to to provide me with the information anybody can reasonably expect when paying for a service rendered. I asked him for an invoice. He could provide me with none of these things, and claimed to have been robbed when asked for I.D. by the cops. 

I agreed to abide by the judgement of the officers present, and they told me that I was under no obligation to pay this mysterious person until he could provide me with the relevant documentation. He said he would be back today with these, but (not surprisingly) he has not returned.  

I have attached (separately - come on News24!) his photo, and welcome any and all comments, additional information, and encourage any journalist who reads this to get council's take on the matter. 
The originals:
- http://curbnumberpro.com/student-curb-painting-service-is-it-real-or-a-scam/
- http://noevalleysf.blogspot.com/2011/01/scam-alert-curb-number-painters-target.html
- http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/neighborhood-watch-curb-scam-78766
- http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/elderly-targeted-as-curb-painting-scam-resurfaces-20130702-2p8z6.html
- http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1695528
- http://richmondsfblog.com/2012/08/16/beware-the-illegal-curb-painting-scam-its-hitting-the-outer-richmond/

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
maseratifittipaldi
Reply to the Nelson Mandela Found...

Yes, there is no question about it. We need radical change. Social justice. But what are the ills we see? What are the solutions?  Read more...

0 comments 156 views
Submitted by
Chili Nel
ANC Adieu

A clearly debilitated ANC is limping along to 16 December, hoping for a miracle cure; something that would heal the suppurating sores on it’s mangy coat and save it from decaying into oblivion. Read more...

0 comments 192 views
Submitted by
Sean Parker
Which car would you max on this r...

If given the opportunity to reach the top speed of any car on an airfield, which set of wheels would you choose to go blisteringly quick in a straight line? Read more...

0 comments 4600 views
Submitted by
MikeHampton
Third force behind The President'...

Politics is a knife that cuts into the Public every which way it can. Politics is the sociopath, the Public its willing victim. The Public needs to demand better instead of praising sensationalism, gossip and bias over logic and truth. Read more...

0 comments 1679 views
Submitted by
GakwiMashego
Palestinians have nothing to gain...

Palestinian political unity is the biggest threat to the occupation. And demanding that Hamas disarm is the biggest threat to the unity agreement between Palestinian factions. Read more...

0 comments 159 views
Submitted by
Robyn Boake
Once the pride of CT, the MyCiti ...

Up until recently it was a service that Capetonians were proud of, a service bragged about as an example of what could be achieved as a solution for the masses. But that all changed. Read more...

0 comments 1126 views
 

services

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2017 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.