Scam artist fleecing residents by posing as city employee

(File, iStock)
(File, iStock)

Cape Town – A scam artist in Cape Town is fleecing residents of “thousands of rands” by posing as a city employee tasked with meter upgrades.

The city had received three reports of the con artist operating in Milnerton, Claremont and Rondebosch, city spokesperson Priya Reddy said on Tuesday.

Pensioners were told they were being prioritised for electricity and/or water meter project upgrades.

They parted with their cash on the premise that the scamster’s “colleagues” would arrive the following day to complete the work.

Reddy said this modus operandi did not conform to their processes.

“Our field staff do not handle cash – all such transactions are done at the city’s customer centres or via the appropriate electronic channels.”

The city was currently rolling out an electricity meter replacement programme – but the planned replacements were free.

Residents could phone the city’s call centre to verify the identity of visitors to their home.

They could also ask the visitor for a letter of appointment, detailing the purpose of the project, the signature of the city official and office and cellular contact numbers on the city’s letterhead. 

People would generally receive targeted marketing of any planned work for an area.

Residents were urged to phone the police and city if approached by potential criminals.

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