The Ekurhuleni metro reminds its customers to never pay any amount to any person posing as a municipal official unless this payment takes place over the counter, inside the municipality rates halls.
According to Themba Gadebe, spokesperson for the metro, this follows reports of customers receiving hand-delivered letters and being approached by fraudsters who claim that the customer’s electricity meter was found to have been tampered with and that an immediate spot fine must be paid.
The fine was supposedly to avoid disconnection of power.
“Customers are also lured to install what it purported to be a prepaid meter, where the customer is scammed to believe that they will pay substantially less per kilowatt per hour if they switch to a prepaid meter. Once the customer accepts this ‘upgrade’, the monthly fees are not paid to the municipality but to the scammer.”
Gadebe said if an unlawfully installed prepaid meter in discovered by the metro’s meter auditors, the illegitimate prepaid meter will be confiscated and electricity supply will also be disconnected until a legitimate meter is installed by Ekurhuleni officials.
This will be followed by a backdated billing as the metro would not have received payments from the customer.
To avoid becoming a victim of crime, residents are advised to follow the following rules:
- Do not make direct payments or pay spot fines to an individual claiming to be a municipal official. All payments must be over the counter inside any rates hall across the metro
- Upon receiving a letter addressed from the metro, residents should make a follow-up call through the call centre or the 999 number provided in the letter before making any payments.
- Always request a legitimate receipt that can be kept as proof of payment.
ALSO READ: Bogus doctor arrested in Boksburg North