Western Cape govt warns about fake housing allocation letter

2019-07-03 17:08
Scammers are trying to dupe Western Cape residents with a fake housing allocation letter. (iStock)

Scammers are trying to dupe Western Cape residents with a fake housing allocation letter. (iStock)

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The Western Cape government wants police to track down those responsible for a fake housing letter which purports to be from the "Department of Housing" telling unsuspecting victims, that for R5 250, they can have the keys to a house allocated to them. 

"We cannot allow bogus characters to fraudulently use government to advance their criminal activities," said Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers following the discovery of a fake housing letter being circulated, informing people they had been allocated a house by the "Department of Housing".

A "department of housing" does not exist in the Western Cape government.

"I've instructed my department to launch a full investigation into the matter," said Simmers.

On Tuesday, Simmers opened a case of fraud against the signatories of the letter at the Cape Town Central police station.

He called on the police to act with urgency in dealing with the matter "to ensure that these unscrupulous individuals do not benefit from people's needs and specifically their need for housing across the province". 

The letter - which bears the Western Cape government logo, the City of Cape Town's Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) helpdesk landline number and is signed off by one "housing project manager" Melananie Koen - advises: "You have been allocated a house by the department of housing for our project for the lower income scale …"

The letter, dated July 1, goes on to read: "An amount of R5 250 is payable ASAP". 

The letter purporting to be from the Western Cape

The letter purporting to be from the Western Cape human settlements department telling people they have been allocated houses. (Supplied).

Simmers said the authors of the letter were "preying on people's vulnerabilities". He said they understood that there were many desperate residents who were in need of housing opportunities.

It is unclear at this stage how many people have been duped by the scam.

Residents who suspect fraudulent activities are encouraged to contact the department's helpdesk on 021 483 6488/0611, as well as their local police station. 

Read more on:    western cape  |  scam  |  housing

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