A 26-year-old female suspect was recently charged with fraud after she was found impersonating the City of Johannesburg‘s debt collectors and managed to secure R70 000 from a North Riding resident.
Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said the suspect appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court for the same offence. She was charged for committing fraud to the value of R60 000, he said. Now, she has been charged for fraud worth R70 000.
“The arrest of the suspect follows an investigation by the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) department and the South African police,” Mashaba said.
The suspect allegedly defrauded unsuspecting residents by sending them emails alleging that they are attorneys and debt collectors for the City.
“In August last year, a resident from North Riding was sent an electricity, rates and taxes bill of about R430 000 by the suspect. The suspect demanded a down payment of R70 000 from the victim or [they would] cut off electricity supply to his property. The suspect was operating as Barlow Attorneys and NHoole Inc.”
The mayor said last year two suspects were arrested while operating as Jacobs Inc Attorneys and Barlow Attorneys. “These suspects work with our officials who provide them with information of municipal accounts that are in arrears.”
The mayor said he is appealing to anyone who dealt with NHoole Inc, Jacobs Inc Attorneys and Barlow Attorneys to please come forward with information. “The information will assist our law enforcement officials as they continue to investigate this case.”
Report any fraud and corruption activities through the 24hour tipoff hotline at 080 000 2587 or visit GFIS offices at 48 Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein.
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