scam

New scam targets eThekwini Municipality customers

Clever fraudsters have come up with a novel scam to rip off desperate and unsuspecting eThekwini Municipality customers and ratepayers.

scam

Fraudsters have come up with a novel scam to rip off frustrated eThekwini Municipality customers who are struggling to get their electricity, rates and water issues timeously resolved.

eThekwini Municipality has warned the public about a scam that purports to assist residents with their municipal bill enquiries.

The scammers post adverts and then demand payment from the city’s customers in exchange for assistance resolving their issues. 

“eThekwini Municipality cautions the public to refrain from responding to an advert that claims to assist customers resolve queries,” the municipality said in a statement.

“The advert from a company called Rates Chase, urges customers who have logged queries with the municipality regarding water, electricity, and rates, to approach them and pay a minimum of R200. It further states that they will follow up on the customers behalf with the municipality,” the municipality said.

The scam artists also claim to be able to help residents with their municipal bills, rates clearance certificates, pensioner rebates, water and electricity account queries, water leaks, connections, rates refunds, and document submissions. 

“Customers are advised that the advert is a scam and violates the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act,” eThekwini Municipality said.

Fraudsters have repeatedly targeted eThekwini Municipality with myriad scam plots including a recent scam where criminals purported to be representing the coastal city’s mayor.

In another recent scam in May 2021 criminals were “selling” Durban Solid Waste tenders. eThekwini Municipality warned local businesses about the scam following a hoax email that had circulated with information about fake tender advertisements for the department.

“The City would like to advise residents of a hoax email being circulated purporting to be from the Durban Cleansing and Solid Waste (DSW) Unit,” eThekwini Municipality said at the time.

“This is a fake tender advertisement with the following contract numbers: WS7373, WS7374, WS7375, WS7376 and WS7377. The City distances itself from this fake tender email and warns the public not to fall victim to the scam,” the eThekwini Municipality warned.

“Municipal contracts are not for sale and city representatives are not permitted to solicit any payment from potential tenderers,” the city added.

eThekwini Municipality urged anyone with information regarding the hoax email containing the fake contract numbers to urgently report it to the police for investigation.