Beware of scammers, Public Works warns

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The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has issued a warning about a scam that is doing the rounds, where fraudsters use personal details of the department’s staff members to con the public and service providers.

“These fraudsters have been lying low for some time and have just started again to target unsuspecting service providers around Johannesburg and Pretoria,” DPWI said.

According to the department, the scammers use the DPWI letterhead and real names of officials working in the department to invite service providers to deliver goods at government offices or some other locations.

“These goods then disappear mysteriously in the hands of criminals, leaving victims in huge debt. They use DPWI information, along with that of the Provincial Department of Public Works and Infrastructure in Gauteng to try to confuse their victims,” the department explained.

The department said they would never send a request to an individual service provider or group of service providers without following the proper supply chain management (SCM) processes.

“The DPWI management and staff would like to distance themselves from all these fraudulent activities and would like to encourage the public to be alert to this scam.”

In addition, the scammers trick unsuspecting and prospective service providers by inviting them to tender with the department, using their names with the sole aim of cheating them out of their hard-earned cash.

“Their target is usually officials who are based at SCM, using their details and job title to lure members of the public by inviting them to non-existent tenders.”

The department said the fraudsters are causing a lot of stress to departmental staff, who become exposed to strangers, who from time to time would come to the office reception to enquire about misleading information.

“The danger posed to the staff is that many people are convinced that the information is genuine until it is pointed out to them that it is not.”

Therefore, members of the public and those who are doing business with DPWI are cautioned to be extra vigilant around this time of the lockdown.

“There is no official of DPWI who will send out an invitation to individuals to come and tender for projects within the department,” the department said.

If anyone receives such an invitation purporting to be from any staff member, please verify with DPWI by calling Mr Matomo Mabotja on 012 406 1328 or via email [email protected] or Mr Lesole Matsotso on 012 406 1439 or via email [email protected] or contact the Anti-Corruption Unit on 012 406 1328.

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