Johannesburg residents have been warned of scammers pretending to be city officials. Picture: Dumisani Dube

Johannesburg - Joburg residents have been warned about scammers doing the rounds in the suburbs impersonating city officials and using fake cut-off notices to extract money from them.

The scammers threaten to cut off water and electricity if cash is not paid.

The city’s revenue department spokesperson Kgamanyane Maphologela said those who are in arrears, may be tempted to do so.

“Our investigators have picked up a trend where these people who pretend to be city officials visit customers’ properties with fake disconnection cards and demand upfront payment,” he said, adding that city employees do not go to customers’ properties demanding money.

Maphologela said that during the festive season the rise in scams was bound to increase and customers should be alert and know the proper channels through which to make payments to the city.

”Some people, if they owe the city, might give in to the demands of the scammers, but we are encouraging them to educate themselves on the proper channels to follow when paying the city,” says Maphologela. Residents have also been asked not to pay bribes to City Power officials to prevent their electricity being cut off, saying they will get busted.

This follows arrests on Monday by City Power security officials of an employee and a contractor who had solicited a bribe from a customer whose power was disconnected due to non-payment in exchange for illegally reconnecting the customer’s electricity. The arrests followed a tip-off received by City Power security officials.

“City Power has embarked on a crackdown of fraud and corruption which has seen a number of employees and contractors being arrested and suspended,” said Sicelo Xulu, City Power’s managing director. “Theft and corruption are not only a crime against City Power, but also a crime against the ratepayers of Johannesburg who expect and deserve a corruption-free and efficient utility,” he said.

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