Free State police have warned pensioners to be on the alert for fraudsters trying to dig into their life savings after a retired Welkom miner was fleeced out of R100 000 by three people who claimed to represent his former company
“All pensioners are sternly warned not to believe anyone coming to their residence but to rather go personally to their previous place of employment should they have any enquiries,” said police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng on Friday.
He said that on 1 April, two men and a woman pulled up to the miner’s house in Rheederspark, Welkom, in the latest Renault.
Dressed in sleek corporate clothes, they introduced themselves as mine officials and proceeded to produce documentation with details of the miner, and announced his pension had been underpaid.
They asked for his bank statement, which he gave them, and the woman spoke to somebody on her phone and then instructed them to deposit the owed money to the man.
He received a cellphone notification to say that he had been credited with R419 000.
However, they suddenly claimed he had been overpaid by mistake, and was only supposed to have received R319,000.
He duly returned R100,000 by transfer.
That money was part of the balance they gleaned from the pensioner’s bank statement when they had it in their possession during the “formal” meeting.
When the miner realised he had been fleeced, he contacted the police who found out that the vehicle they had arrived in was a rental vehicle. They are still trying to track the fraudsters down.
A case of fraud is being investigated and Detective Sergeant Malefetsane Tilo of Welkom detective services would welcome any leads in finding them to get the miner’s money back.
Tilo can be contacted on 057 391 6275 during office hours or on 083 268 0908.