02/11/2016: City Power alerts customers of fraudsters posing as City Power employees
City Power has picked up information about a group of fraudsters posing as City Power employees to rob customers. The modus operandi used by three males pretending to be City Power employees have swindled customers out of money under false pretense of an unpaid electricity bill, even though the customer might be on prepaid meter. The fraudsters have reportedly threatened to cut off power supply to residents who refuse to pay phantom electricity bills.
The energy utility would like to appeal to all its customers not to make any cash payments to contractors or officials requesting money for outstanding electricity bills, instead customers are encouraged to only make payments at the City of Johannesburg customer walk in centers or at the utility’s offices. Under no circumstances should a customer make payment to a City Power official or contractor at their property.
During the launch of ‘Operation Clean-Up’ earlier in the year City Power’s Board Chairman, Reverend Frank Chikane, urged customers to report criminal incidents or corrupt behavior on the part of officials and contractors of City Power. He warned customers who colluded with officials and service providers with the goal of carrying out unauthorized transactions that they would be found liable for criminal prosecution. Because of the anti-corruption drive City Power has been able to blow the lid on corrupt officials wanting to defraud unsuspecting customers.
The utility has partnered with authorities on an anti-corruption drive to eliminate criminal incidences like these from recurring. The anti-corruption focus seeks to accelerate the utility’s fight against corruption and misconduct on the part of its officials, service providers and customers. Proactive measures including periodic data analytics in risk areas such as Metering and Supply Chain Management departments were taken.
To date 851 cases have been registered with SAPS and the prosecuting authorities relating to cable theft, malicious damage to property and meters including domestic and Large Power Users. As many as 782 arrests have been made with 274 cases that have already been convicted.
“Customers are urged to properly check contractor cards to verify the identity of the person before allowing them onto their property. All City Power contractors are expected to carry their identification cards with them at all times and each card has an expiry date. Customers should be aware that contract officials are not permitted to request cash payments for unpaid bills. If a customer receives a request of this nature they should recognize it as fraudulent behaviour and report the case immediately. Payments should strictly be made at City Power offices,” says Sicelo Xulu, City Power Managing Director.
The anti-corruption drive will not only hone in on billing fraud, but will continue with focused attention on high-risk areas around metering, namely applications for new meters, relocation and reconnection of existing meters as well as the procurement processes within City Power’s supply chain unit.
071 637 7990
For further information, please contact
Yumna Sheik, spokesperson for City Power
083 704 9290