Criminals intent on stealing valuables from homes and offices are attempting to gain entry into business as well as residential premises by posing as Telkom technicians.
Ms Jacqui O’ Sullivan, Telkom’s Managing Executive: Corporate Communication, says that the evolving modus operandi of the suspected criminals is of great concern.
“Telkom would like to alert customers to be on the lookout for these suspects who claim to be Telkom technicians. Upon entry, they steal laptops, cell phones, money and other valuables,” cautioned O’ Sullivan. She adds that the perpetrators arrive unannounced and claim that they need to upgrade telephone and/or internet lines.
While bogus technicians targeted other areas in the past, the most recent incidents have been reported in the Eldoraigne, Centurion area. The Company is also aware of incidents in Kwa-Zulu Natal; particularly in the Pietermaritzburg suburbs of Montrose, Chase Valley, Oak Park and Hayfields and the in the Western Cape in Parow. The Telkom Assets and Revenue Protection Services (TARPS) division is working closely with the South African Police Services in investigating these crimes.
“As a good corporate citizen, Telkom would like the public to become aware of these incidents. We would also like to educate the public about basic precautionary measures that could be taken so that they do not become victims of these alleged criminals,” said O’ Sullivan.
According to O’ Sullivan, residents must demand to see the identity cards of Telkom technicians. Residents must also ask technicians to quote the relevant reference number that has been assigned to the customer for a fault repair or new installation before allowing them onto their premises. People who have not requested any service from Telkom should be particularly wary.
“These basic precautions must be communicated to every person who is likely to be at home during the day, including domestic employees,” advised O’ Sullivan.
“At the same time, we do not want the work of our legitimate technicians to be unnecessarily hampered. However, should customers be suspicious, they can call Telkom on 0800 47 47 47 for verification of the ID card and confirm employment of technicians. Customers may also contact Telkom’s fraud hotline on 0800 124 000 or contact the nearest police station to report their suspicions,” concluded O’ Sullivan.