Residents warned of criminals posing as municipal officials

The City of Ekurhuleni has reminded its customers to never pay any amount of money to any person posing as a municipal official unless this payment takes place over the counter inside the City’s rates halls.

This follows reports of customers receiving hand-delivered letters and being approached by fraudsters who claim that the customer’s meter was found to have been tampered with and that an immediate spot fine must be paid to avoid disconnection of power.

Customers are also lured to install what it purported to be a prepayment meter, where the customer is scammed to believe that they will pay substantially less per kilowatt-hour if they switch to the prepayment meter.

Once the customer accepts this “upgrade”, the monthly fees are not paid to the city, but to the scammer.

If an unlawfully installed prepaid meter is discovered by the city’s meter auditors, the illegitimate prepaid meter will be confiscated and electricity supply will also be disconnected until a legitimate meter is installed by Ekurhuleni officials.

Also read: Landfill sites in Ekurhuleni set an example

This will be followed by a backdated billing as the city would not have been receiving payments from the customer.

To avoid becoming a victim of crime, residents are advised to follow the following golden rules:

• Do not make direct payments or pay spot fines to an individual claiming to be a municipal official.

All payments must be over the counter inside any rates hall across the city.

• Upon receiving a letter addressed from the city, residents should make a follow-up call through the call centre or the number provided in the letter before making any payments.

• Always request a legitimate receipt that can be kept as proof of payment.

Any illegal activities or suspicious behaviour should be reported through the municipal call centre on 086 054 3000.

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Brakpan Herald

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