Cape Town - City residents are reminded to be vigilant at all times and to report potential scammers pretending to be electricity officials to authorities.
This after a 75-year-old man and his wife were robbed at their home on Tuesday by two men apparently wearing City uniforms.
Lower Kenilworth City Improvement District chairperson Rory Moore said the couple had applied for a rebate on their electricity and rates about a month ago.
“On Tuesday, two ‘City officials’ arrived at the residence in Kenilworth and said they knew that he applied to have a reduction on the electricity and rates and they needed to come in and check the electricity meter.
“So he thought because he applied a month ago, and here were two guys that had the uniform and ID cards, he let them in at the property.”
Moore said one of the suspects looked at the meter and took pictures.
“The other went and took all the cellphones. A minute or two after they left, the man’s wife saw the cellphones, money and wallet were gone.
“They ran outside and they went to see if they could see the suspects but they were not on the road.
“Whether they had a car or walked very fast, we don’t know.”
He said the suspects used the victims’ card at a supermarket.
“The card was used five times and an amount of R1 500 was used. The police were notified and they went to the supermarket to check the footage. They are still busy investigating.”
Moore said they were curious to find out how the suspects knew the couple had made an application.
Lower Kenilworth councillor Katherine Christie said: “Tariffs are set by the City council and no legitimate officials will go door to door in respect of electricity sales and prices.
“Our electricity area official said his department sends staff only in response to complaints logged. Anyone who just arrives at your gate when you have not logged a request is not from the City of Cape Town.”
Mayco member for Energy Beverley van Reenen said when the requested reference number or City-issued identification card cannot be produced, residents should not allow people into their homes.
“Residents can call the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089 to confirm.
“It is important to remember when residents apply for a rates rebate that electricity meters, plugs and light bulbs in your home do not need to be checked by the City as part of the application process,” Van Reenen said.