There's a scam artist fleecing City of Cape Town residents, especially in the Strand area.
The City is also warning of other criminals posing as City officials, particularly in light of the water crisis and the municipality's roll-out of water management devices.
The City is in the process of rolling out an electricity meter replacement programme, but has stressed that this service is free, and field staff do not handle cash.
Scam artists are convincing residents to hand over cash by claiming to represent the City as part of the electricity and/or water meter upgrade project.
The City said it had received at least three complaints from residents saying they were swindled out of thousands of rand.
"The City can assure members of the public that this is not the way we do things. Our field staff do not handle cash. All such transactions are done at the City’s customer care centres or via the appropriate electronic channels. We ask our residents to be vigilant," said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area East, Councillor Anda Ntsodo.
"While the City is currently rolling out an electricity meter replacement programme, the planned replacements are free," the City said. "Each replacement has a notification number on our internal systems which the City Call Centre can verify should a resident enquire. In addition, we do targeted marketing and mailbox drops of any planned work to be carried out in an area.
Any member of the public can verify whether visitors to their home are in fact employed by the City by:
- Phoning the Call Centre on 0860 103 089 to confirm whether work is being carried out in their area
- Informing the official that they will allow them entry only once the Call Centre has verified their identity
"Residents may also ask for a letter of appointment outlining the purpose of the project on a City-labelled letterhead, signed by a City official with contact details on the letterhead," the City said.
"Residents should please inform the South African Police Service as well as the City if they are approached by potential criminals."