An­other pen­sioner is duped

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANNA COX @an­na­cox

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.

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