Fraudsters use municipal letterheads in R2m scam

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Groblersdal - Businesses have been warned against fraudsters who have been using a Limpopo District Municipality's letterhead and fraudulent cheques to buy goods worth R2 million.

Maureen Ntshudisane, acting municipal manager of the Sekhukhune District Municipality in Groblersdal, issued the warning after companies in Mpumalanga and Gauteng complained that the municipality's cheques had bounced.

Ntshudisane said the criminals targeted businesses dealing in technology and motor vehicle parts.

"We wish to advise the business sector to be careful of this scam and ensure that all transactions done with the municipality are validated before purchases are approved," said Ntshudisane on Thursday.

She said all business transactions must be verified via the municipality's land line number 013 262 7300 during office hours and not via any cell phones.

Municipal spokesman Willy Mosoma said a fraud case had been opened. "All the letterheads used in the scam were forged and all the cheques were fraudulent," said Mosoma.

He said that in January this year, ACC Technologies was robbed of 700 USB hard drives worth R397 803 while in February Mpumalanga Digital Solutions was robbed of 30 Samsung TVs worth R418 915.

He said in March, Imperial Toyota in Mbombela was robbed of brakes worth R306 201 while IBURST in Sandton was robbed of 87 laptops worth R109 255.

"Our Risk Management Unit and the South African Police Service are working around the clock to find these criminals and put an end to this," said Mosoma.

Meanwhile, the Mpumalanga Education Department has warned school principals and managers to be on the lookout for a fraudster who masquerade as a provincial government official sent to give computers to schools.

Department spokesman Jasper Zwane said a man, who called himself J.R Nkosi, phoned schools in the Ehlanzeni District and claimed they would receive a donation of computers if they deposited R3 000 into a particular bank account. - BuaNews