City warns customers of revenue collection scam

Published Jun 19, 2024


Tshepo Mahlangu, the leader of the Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville and Saulsville Civic Association (Lasca), says his organisation has been vindicated by the City of Tshwane’s confirmation of a revenue collection scam targeting customers whose municipal accounts are in arrears.

Lasca has long alleged that some residents were being served fake letters of demand for defaulting on payments by people masquerading as municipal officials, wanting to extort money from them.

Mahlangu told the Pretoria News last year: “People have been receiving these final letters of demand, which are very much fake. We were wondering how can the City continue to dispatch and distribute fake letters of demand because that is extortion by the City.”

At the time former finance MMC Peter Sutton promised to investigate the claims but nothing came out of it.

Municipal spokesperson, Lindela Mashigo, said in a media statement that the City had been notified about people purporting to be officials from its revenue collection team, calling customers and threatening to disconnect their power supply.

He said the alleged perpetrators claimed that the accounts of targeted customers were in arrears.

“We want to warn the public not to entertain these perpetrators, as this is a scam. The city does not call customers to inform them that their accounts are in arrears and that officials are coming to disconnect them. As part of the city’s revenue collection programme, technicians are dispatched, without warning, to disconnect properties that are in arrears,” he said.

Reacting to this, Mahlangu said: “The City of Tshwane has always been scamming people and the debtor’s book that they are always talking about in the media is a scam. So, this is a vindication to us and especially the indigents who have been robbed by this current administration.”

Mashigo said: “In situations where a customer receives a call from our credit control, the official will introduce him/herself, the reason for the call, the property which is owing, the amount owed and the last time payment was made to the account in question.”

The customer, he said, would then be directed to make a payment at the nearest City of Tshwane’s walk-in customer service centre or advised to make a payment arrangement at the municipal offices.

Alternatively, Mashigo said, a customer would be advised to make a payment into the city’s bank account provided by the official.

“We wish to warn those who are trying to extort money from our customers that they will be arrested, charged and prosecuted, as their actions border on criminality,” he said.

Pretoria News

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