A RFQ is a standard business process to invite suppliers to a bidding process and to bid on specific products or services.
The red flags to identify fraudulent RFQ and tender documents include spelling and grammar mistakes and the use of incorrect email addresses.
On Thursday, Seraj Johaar, executive director for corporate services at Drakenstein Municipality, said: “The scam is not only focused on Drakenstein Municipality, as other entities were also targeted.”
Others affected include the National Treasury’s central supplier database for the government, the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services and the Institute of Plumbing South Africa.
“The municipality does not have any suspects, as the contact numbers used by the person or persons distributing the fictitious RFQ and tender documents are not linked to the municipality.
“The matter was handed to the SAPS for further investigation,” Johaar pointed out.
A similar tender scam affected the municipality in September. The matter was also reported to the police and is still the subject of an ongoing investigation.
Of the previous scam, Johaar said: “Drakenstein Municipality provided the police with the contact numbers and email addresses that were used by the person or persons claiming to be officials employed by Drakenstein Municipality.
“We also informed the public to be aware of the scam by posting warnings on our municipal website and social media platforms, and sending out information to be published in the local media.”
This time, the municipality also put out an alert to warn the public. Johaar remarked: “When something appears to be too good to be true, it usually is”.
The requests sent to prospective suppliers were not in line with Drakenstein Municipality’s supply chain management procedures.
“According to our processes (which are also stipulated in the tender documents), tender documents must be placed in a tender box before the closing date and time given for a tender to be considered.
“In this scam, the entire process is done electronically by sending emails and submitting the documents electronically,”Johaar said.
The names of Drakenstein municipal officials were used by the scammers to appear more legitimate, but incorrect contact numbers were provided.
The municipality warned the public to take note of the email addresses and contact numbers used.
Apparently various email addresses were used by those behind the scam. But none of them are official Drakenstein Municipality email addresses.@MwangiGithahu