Be wary of pay pleas, city urges cus­tomers

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Anna Cox

THE CITY of Joburg con­tin­u­ally ad­vises its cus­tomers not to let their guard down, but al­ways to contact the city when­ever they re­ceive emails or let­ters or have some­one visit their prop­erty so­lic­it­ing pay­ments to be paid to un­known ac­counts.

City spokesper­son Kga­manyane Mapholo­gela said the num­ber of cus­tomers who com­plain about be­ing scammed in­creases over the fes­tive sea­son.

“One of the first red flags for a cus­tomer is when they re­ceive an email, let­ter or doc­u­men­ta­tion pur­port­ing to be from the city – ask­ing them to de­posit a cer­tain amount into the pri­vate ac­count num­ber. The first point is to contact the city and ver­ify the cor­rect bank­ing de­tails,” he said.

Cus­tomers should fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the city’s pay­ment meth­ods and fa­cil­i­ties when they wish to pay their ac­counts. They can min­imise the chances of fall­ing vic­tim to scam­mers by know­ing that the city has one of­fi­cial banker, which is Stan­dard Bank.

A num­ber of cases have been re­ported to the foren­sic au­di­tors for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Cus­tomers should know that the city would never go to the cus­tomer’s prop­erty re­quest­ing up­front pay­ment. Mapholo­gela said that if a cus­tomer sus­pected that they might be the tar­get of a scam, they should im­me­di­ately call the city’s cus­tomer call cen­tre on 0860 562 874 or visit their near­est cus­tomer walk-in cen­tre to ver­ify their ac­counts. –

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