Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) has warned the public of an unknown fraudster selling municipal jobs to the public for R2500.
The fraudster is said to be a woman targeting drivers from local businesses and taxi drivers.
An anonymous victim said the woman had called him about a vacant driver’s post at CHDM since February. He said the most recent call was made to his workplace last week, when the woman identified herself as Matiwana.
He said this was not the first time this had occurred as he had received the same call in June last year, when the same caller had referred herself as Dyantyi.
“The first time she called she said she was calling from Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality’s technical services department where she claimed there were two vacant posts for drivers. She requested a grade 12 and PDP code 10 licence and persuaded me to give her ‘cool drink money’ on the basis that I was about to get a permanent position which did not happen often.
“I decided to play along and said I was would give her R5000, but she said that amount was too much, I should drop to R2000. She then placed pressure on me to bring the money urgently as the human resources staff, who would also benefit from the money, needed it as soon as possible to prevent others candidates from getting the position first.”
The anonymous source he told the woman he would place the money in an envelope and deliver it to her. However she refused to meet in person, fearing that somebody would recognise her.
“She requested the amount to be deposited via a Spar teller and that the voucher number and the pin code be forwarded to her cellphone. She said after I had made the transaction we would meet for her to collect the documents which she had requested.”
He said during the course of the telephone conversations she would speak in a polite and calm manner, which made him believe that the deal was legitimate. He added that she even offered to assist him in filling in the Z83 forms.
“Something told me to verify the post at the technical services department, because a part of me was interested in getting the job. I even considered borrowing the cash from my boss.”
When he inquired about the posts at the technical services department he was told that EMLM service delivery vehicles had just been sold on an auction to recover the millions of rands owed to Milowo Trading Enterprise. It made no sense for the municipality to have vacant posts.
“I realised that the posts did not exist. I contacted the woman and told her I was waiting for her at Spar and she reminded me that the deal was for us to meet only after the amount was transferred.
“She then told me to wait for her and I did for a while. Later my phone rang. She claimed to have been trying to contact me to locate where I was waiting at Spar but could not get through, so she left.”
The anonymous source said she continued to try to convince him to make the deposit quickly, which reflected how desperate she was for the money.
He added that he was not the only victim. There were many unemployed people who were more vulnerable targets likely to believe the scam, especially for a government job.
“Some will not consider this as fraud, but will quickly make a deposit out of desperation to secure a job first. But by the time they try to contact the woman, the phone would have been switched off.”
CHDM spokes person Thobeka Mqamelo said: “At this point it is unclear which other area the fraudsters operate in. It is alleged that the imposter uses names of municipal employees and councillors to lure unsuspecting victims into believing that this is authentic.
“The district municipality distances itself from such an atrocious act and strongly condemns any actions that are contrary to its policies, values and beliefs, which tarnish its image. The matter is receiving our urgent attention. Members of the public are warned not to fall victim to such scams and are requested to make use of the municipality’s fraud and corruption hotline on 0800 553 559 to report.”
The police spokesperson was asked for comment but had not yet replied by the time of going to print.