Another pensioner is duped
THE SCAMMING of pensioners by two men claiming to be City of Joburg employees in the suburbs of Kensington and Malvern appears to be continuing.
Another pensioner has come forward after The Star alerted readers about the scam.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was defrauded out of R10 000 by the same men, calling themselves Carl and Colin Naidoo. The modus operandi was exactly the same as the previous cases.
The two men appeared on the doorsteps of the unsuspecting couple,with documents, allegedly from the City of Joburg, saying they were installing new electricity meters which would save them up to 40 percent because of a pensioner rebate.
“My husband is not well – he recently suffered a stroke – and let them in. They were charming, well-spoken and polite. Coincidentally, we had received a notice from the city saying a new meter would be installed by May, so we believed them. Although it went against my nature, I handed over the money willingly.
“They had all my personal details on official-looking documents, so I had no reason to doubt them. They even knew that I had overpaid the city R21 000 last year for an incorrect reading and they said they would refund me that money,” she said.
The companies they mentioned that would install the meters were Global Energy and the Sustainable Society of SA
Last month, The Star reported that an Elton Hill man had been defrauded of R13 000 by the pair.
Following that article, a Malvern man told of the same modus operandi and the same well-dressed, smooth-talking individuals who described themselves to their victims as halfIndian and coloured.
The man, who is 80, is a retired schoolteacher who could not believe how he was scammed.
He owns a property next door to his own home which he lets to tenants who use very little water.
In November, he got a bill of R1 062, so he called Thuso House to report the matter.
The next day, he got a call from someone saying she was from the city, and that fibre-optic cables had been installed and these were being linked to special meters which would offer pensioners a 40 percent rebate.
A few days later, someone arrived at his house, saying his name was Carl Lander.
The pensioner was told that all three water meters would have to be replaced with a solar geyser and panels – two on his rented properties and his own.
After questioning him about his income, he was told that because he owned other income-generating properties, he would not qualify for the pensioner rebate but the conman said he would motivate the case to “higher powers”.
Another victim, also a pensioner, lives in Kensington.
Out of the blue, he got a call offering him a 40 percent pensioner discount on his account.
He said that as pensioners, he and his wife live hand-to-mouth every month, so this sounded like a dream come true.
The scammer, calling himself Carl Naidoo, arrived within five minutes of the call. He had all the couple’s personal details and asked about their income. He told them he would have to replace the meters to link them to the pensioners’ discount.
The Cleveland police said three cases had been opened and many more reported.