Woman, 92, conned out of R65 000 pension
THE HEARTLESS thieves who have been targeting pensioners in various Joburg suburbs have struck again.
This time they conned a 92-year-old Melville woman, who is a little senile, defrauding her of R65 000.
The scam would have continued if she hadn’t run out of cheques, because it was only then that the crime was uncovered.
The woman’s infuriated daughter said: “My mom’s helper, who is my helper’s daughter, alerted me that these two men took her to Cresta to order a new chequebook.
“They arranged with the bank that her helper be authorised to collect it. The men made arrangements to take her there and back to collect it,” she said.
The daughter described the men as psychopaths.
Her mother lives alone in a semi, and the men told her they got hold of her phone number from a database of phone numbers.
“She is deaf and didn’t understand what they wanted. They visited her three times and got her to sign cheques for different amounts totalling R65 000. I was absolutely devastated when I heard. I rushed over and tried to get my mother to tell me what had happened,” she said.
While there, the phone rang and she answered. It was one of the fraudsters, and he asked to speak to her mother.
“He had the cheek to ask whether the chequebook had been collected. I was so upset, I started yelling at him.
“He replied saying my mother had signed the form; she was not forced to.
“I begged the caller to return the money, explaining she was senile, deaf and hadn’t understood. I gave him my cellphone number, and that evening one of them called me from a phone with no caller ID.
“He was compassionate and promised to refund the money, but that was the last I heard from him. They are psychopaths and need to be punished,” she said.
As in previous scams, the men used fake papers saying they were from a company called Global Energy. The company doesn’t exist.
They also left an electrical gadget for the woman.
The Star has received five similar complaints. The Cleveland police say there have been many more.
The men, who use the names Carl and Colin Naidoo, are said to be convincing, well dressed and well spoken.
The other cases were reported in Kensington, Malvern and Elton Hill.
A woman was defrauded of R10 000 by the same men calling themselves by the same names. The modus operandi was the same with them offering to put in new meters, promising a 40% discount on the monthly charges. They are convincing because they arrive at pensioners’ houses armed with all the pensioners; personal details, such as IDs and copies of their utility bills.
They ask questions about the person’s income, promising them a pensioner rebate. In that way they were able to determine how much money the pensioners have available.
In one case, a couple received only a government grant and said they were unable to pay.
They handed over their last R400, which was a Christmas gift from their children.
The Cleveland police said four cases had been opened, and many more reported but not pursued because no money had been exchanged.
Captain Johan Jordaan said all the incidents involved an Indian and coloured male.
“Residents should phone the city council and enquire about such people. They can also phone Cleveland police station. Anyone else who has been defrauded should open a case at their closest police station,” he said.
The psychopaths need to be punished
The electrical gadget the two men left at the Melville pensioner’s house, claiming it would substantially reduce the electricity bill.