Bogus officials steal from Bothasig couple

Bothasig police are warning residents to be on the alert for criminals posing as officials.

Bothasig residents need to be on the alert for thieves impersonating officials, say police.

This comes after two men claiming to be Eskom officials got into a Bothasig couple’s Botma Street home at noon on Monday July 24 and stole cellphones and cash.

The men told the couple they had come to check the house’s plugs, according to Bothasig police spokeswoman Captain Anel Botes.

“They were dressed like Eskom employees and had employee cards. We cannot confirm at this time if the cards were fake or not. Two cellphones and cash was stolen during the whole incident.”

The couple only noticed the missing items after the men had left, she said.

“The public must be made aware that no Eskom worker will come ‘check your plugs’ in your home. This must already be a red flag for people.”

Eskom spokesman Kyle Cookson said that Eskom had noted isolated incidents of this nature.

“Innocent customers become victims of these unscrupulous characters in the name of Eskom. We encourage customers to immediately report such unscrupulous characters to the nearest police station,” he said.

Mr Cookson said Eskom staff and contractors carried a work-order number and an Eskom-issued identification card and they drove clearly branded cars. Customers should check the identification card before allowing anyone onto their property.

Even when an ID was produced, customers should never use a different bank account to the one on their invoices for payments or make cash payments to any Eskom personnel.

Call Eskom’s toll-free crime line at 0800 11 27 22 or email investigate@eskom.co.za to report fraud, corruption, and irregularities involving Eskom employees.

Darren McKay, of Bothasig, said, “There are lots of scams going on nowadays. We have seen all over the news people posing as traffic cops, police, City officials, etc. When will this end? We have an elderly population here in Bothasig, and they must be terrified.”

Ward councillor Miquette Temlett urged residents to be more vigilant and report suspicious activity to street groups and the neighbourhood watch.

“And it is very important that if there is a crime, it gets reported to the police to get a case number. People are sometimes hesitant to report crimes to the police, but it is of integral importance as this guides the deployment of human and other resources.

“I always try to notify residents of activities by City officials in the ward. Unfortunately, Eskom does not always notify me if they are working in the ward.”