Please warn your domestic staff especially the older ladies, this is a real scam that has been happening in our area for years.

Posted to I Love Fourways by Gabriella Alberoni

“I would like to share a recent experience with a different type of crime happening in our community in the hope that it can prevent others from falling prey to this scam.

My elderly housekeeper took a walk from our complex to Fourways Mall last Saturday morning. She was disturbed en-route, just outside the Caltex on Cedar Road, by a man bumping her and covering her jacket in a black (unknown) substance. She asked the person what he was doing and he apologised and ran off. A second man then ran up behind her and told her that this is a gang that is running around targeting elderly ladies with muti and emptying their bank accounts. He then told her that undercover police were parked ahead monitoring them and she should go and tell them what happened – all part of the scam!

She was upset to hear this and went to go speak to the “undercover police” who proceeded to inform her that they are members of the Hawks and that this gang is targeting Gogos and she needs to go with them so they can keep her money safe and catch these thieves. They were all armed with firearms and were in a white VW polo.

They then took her to ABSA fourways and a woman accompanied her inside and to the information desk and told the teller that she needed to check balances on all her accounts. We have a 32 day notice account that we have been depositing funds into for years for her retirement that has/had a generous balance in it. Once they saw that they had hit jackpot they took her to the teller and told her she must tell them that she needed to urgently withdraw R20k to pay for a funeral. Even though it’s a 32 day notice account, the bank has explained to me that they are obliged to still hand over the cash by law once they have verified the account owner and ID.

They then repeated this at 2 other absa branches: Sandton and Sunninghill, as well as withdrawing R6000 from her day to day savings account. She kept on asking to please call me to explain what was going on but they told her aggressively that it would interfere with the investigation and she was not permitted to call me until after.

A savvy consultant at Sunninghill branch noticed that my housekeeper looked out of sorts but the imposter would not leave her side when the consultant requested that she go wait outside. The consultant then called security to escort her and she made a run for it to the car that was waiting and the men waiting in the car started pulling their firearms and security then stopped chasing them. They got away with R56k in retirement savings. These guys are professional and clearly very convincing!

The bank is circulating cctv footage/photographs so these extortionists can be stopped but unfortunately we can not access the images, only SAPS can as part of the investigation. Douglasdale SAPs advised me that this is happening more and more and they are targeting elderly domestic workers.

Please warn the ladies working for you to be vigilant. We are doing everything we can to try catch these criminals.”

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